Poor Channing. The guy can’t even look tough as a Queens police officer with a mustache.
Channing Tatum stars as Johnathan, a young cop assigned to patrol his old Queens, N.Y., neighborhood that takes off with the discovery of a long-dead secret, which includes his childhood memories with Detective Charles Stanford (Al Pacino).
To be quite honest, I was actually looking forward to seeing this way back when it first debuted at Sundance. I enjoy Dito Montiel as a writer/director, the premise seems old-school but good, and the cast looked awesome. Oh how it sucks to be disappointed.
The problem that this film runs into is the fact that it has a weak premise that can’t really go anywhere because it’s script is just weak. Nothing really happens here and the film as a whole, is just a downer with there barely being anything that totally glued me in. I had a feeling that something, whatever it was, was at stake but throughout the whole film we are just moving along at this boring pace of where we really don’t have a total clue as to what happens next, and even better, we don’t care either.
There are also plenty of highly laughable moments with Johnathan’s childhood being shown and the way the kid acts and the way everything happens, just seems way too over-dramatic and unrealistic that it was really hard for me to become glued into this story since Montiel’s direction goes back-and-forth between the present and past. What I also never understood was why didn’t he just say that these murders that he commits were part of self-defense because that’s honestly what they were. I also never understood why a news reporter (or anyone for that matter) would ever take time out of their day to bring up an unsolved murder of two asshole junkies that happened 16 years before. It never made sense why it just all of a sudden came up now, and most of all, why anybody would waste their time.
Dito Monitel still does bring some well-deserved tension and bleakness to this film, which I thought was a good attribute but I think he needed to rely less on the melodrama and more on the characters and actual story. I got a feel of the paranoia Johnathan was going through, but I never understood him as a character which is why I can’t say anything bad about Channing Tatum‘s performance as him. He’s good but he isn’t given much to do and more screen-time is dedicated to kid Johnathan and that actor sucks.
Katie Holmes is wildly miscast as his wife, and brings out a lot unintentional laughter; Juliette Binoche is also miscast as the news journalist but surprisingly holds her own; and Tracy Morgan plays Vinnie, Johnathan’s mentally-challenged friend, and does a better job than I actually imagined with his dramatic chops, which he does in a way that doesn’t feel forced. The biggest type of type-casting is Al Pacino and Ray Liotta as two old-school cops, which isn’t so bad but they don’t do anything really new and are just there to add more to the cast.
Consensus: Dito Montiel and the cast try their hardest, but in the end, The Son of No One just ends up being an unbelievable, poorly written, and boring cop melodrama that doesn’t do much other than bring out unintentional laughs with everything these characters say.
Never would I have thought that a film starring Shia LaBeouf be one of the most gut-wrenching films I have ever seen.
Robert Downey Jr. stars in director Dito Montiel’s autobiographical coming-of-age drama set in blue-collar Queens, N.Y. While his young friends all seem to end up as junkies, inmates or corpses, Dito (Downey) miraculously escapes the same fate. He attributes that to divine intervention from a group of “saints,” who are the same friends whose path he tries so hard to avoid. Dianne Wiest, Chazz Palminteri, Shia LaBeouf and Rosario Dawson co-star.
Now this film is directed by the same person who wrote the memoir it is based on, and I must say there is basically no one else that can direct this other than Dito Montel, in his directorial debut.
The film is told through flashbacks, though it is set in the present, and I really did like the way it was filmed. I felt like it couldn’t have been filmed either way. We really do understand these characters right from the get-go, and we start to understand the occurrences that caused Dito to leave his New York home grounds.
I was reading other reviews before I saw this film and so many people we’re just bashing it for going a little too far with N.Y. City stereotypes. To be truly honest I think since this is Dito’s film, and he basically wrote the story, I think he would know how everything really was around New York.
I love coming-of-age tales, but this one really ranks high with one of my favorites of that category. The whole humanity and the realism of this film is captured through it’s screenplay. The screenplay is very realistic, showing all sides of comedy, drama, and most of all, tragedy. The film really doesn’t fail at all with it’s screenplay and never goes too far with it’s cliches.
Shia LaBeouf is very good in this and shows his talents in acting, that would come to benefit him later on his career. The whole cast all do amazing jobs but the one who really stands out in my mind is Channing Tatum. I felt like this film would have not succeeded if they had somebody else playing Antonio. Tatum is tough as nails, but also very troubled and you can see that in Tatum’s performance as he plays someone different then the usual big tough guy he does in all of his other films.
The only problem I had with this film was that when it was all said and done I felt like there were more aspects of Dito’s life that weren’t covered and just forgotten that could’ve really helped this film out, but not that much of a complaint after all.
Consensus: One of the most powerful and realistic coming-of-age films I have ever seen. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, is well-acted, sharp direction from new-comer Dito Montiel, and paints a wonderful portrait of what friendship really means.