It will take more than a thick Tom Selleck moustache to convince audiences to take Channing Tatum seriously in this muddled cop thriller. Neither Al Pacino nor Ray Liotta, both grizzled crime thriller veterans, are able to bring it out of him either. His saving grace, however, is that the bigger crime is committed by writer-director Dito Montiel, who provides the disjointed material.
PLOT: A second-generation cop gets in over his head when he’s assigned to re-open a double homicide cold case in the suburb where he grew up.
DIRECTOR: Dito Montiel
CAST: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino and Juliette Binoche
GENRE: Crime Thriller
AGE RESTRICTION: 16 (Language, Violence)
Five years ago the world was introduced to both actor Channing Tatum and director Dito Montiel in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. The movie received critical acclaim, specifically for the way it depicted the seedy underbelly of street life in New York. A much younger Tatum gained praise and attention from critics, some even suggesting comparisons to a young De Niro. Fast forwarding to the present day, both men are in dire need to prove themselves to the industry once more.
For some reason, unknown to anyone but the director, the present day action unfolds in 2002, in the aftermath of 9/11, with intermediate flashbacks jumps to 1986. The son of a former NYPD detective, Jonathan White (Tatum) is a fresh-faced rookie cop, who provides for his family. Complications arise when new evidence on a 1986 homicide grabs the attention of Captain Mathers (Liotta). White is caught in a pickle when he is forced to investigate a crime he was responsible for as a child. Things start getting even more eerie when he receives letters and phone calls from an anonymous source.
We’ve seen this formula at least a dozen times before; a good kid caught in a bad situation, thrown to the wolves of the ghetto, which include corrupt cops and junkies. The story takes a few unexpected twists, none of it remotely believable, but you’ll find yourself pinpointing the bad guys before they are even revealed. The worst of it all is the director trying to sum it all up into a clever twist to no avail.
The Son of No One (a painfully pretentious movie title) isn’t short of gifted actors at all. Everyone has their A-game on, including Tracy Morgan, who tries his hand at a more serious role. Even still, there is no guarantee that anyone of the actors will come out of this film unscarred. Despite its poetic intentions The Son of No One is dull!
The lesson; you can’t judge a movie simply by its star cast.