The Son of No One Blu-ray Review
The Son of No One comes to UK Region B-locked Blu-ray complete with a very good 1080p video presentation in the movie’s original limited theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. It is hard to fault in terms of its rendition of the material, irrespective of the quality of the film itself. Sure, its shot in that trademark gritty cop style, but the presentation of said style is eminently excellent, showing up superb fine object detail, stunning textures, and impressive longer urban vistas. The sets are suitably dirty and worn, the settings drifting between dilapidated housing projects, a tired-looking police precinct, and the lead character’s modest family home. With no signs of excessive digital tinkering – no unruly DNR, no edge enhancement and only a smidge of banding to be spotted – the image further benefits from a nice layer of grain which only enhances the trademark gritty look. The colour scheme is well-represented, although there are slightly different tones and dominant colours used during for the flashback sequences, which have more of a green-blue edge. Black levels are strong and allow for decent shadowing and overall the video presentation is far more impressive than the movie itself.
On the aural front we get a decent enough DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that sounds to be as good as the US release’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Despite the misleading trailer, this is an entirely dialogue-driven dramatic affair which has only a few sparks of louder effects moments to punctuate the words. Dialogue thankfully comes across clearly and coherently throughout, and there’s a decent enough atmosphere created for the most part – particularly in the flashback housing project sequences, where the block veritably comes alive with oppressive foreboding – and solid use of the LFE channel to give the proceedings a suitably dark edge. The score is totally derivative of this kind of gritty cop affair, and thus totally forgettable, but it does give the surrounds (and LFE) a little more to play with. By the numbers, but perfectly acceptable, this solid accompaniment will certainly make do for this particular production.
Unlike its US counterpart, the UK Region B-locked release of The Son of No One comes completely devoid of any extras whatsoever. I’m sure we’re not actually missing a great deal, and that there aren’t going to be riots on the street as a result of this disappointing news, but it’s still – on principle – a shoddy way for the Studios to treat their customers. Why not just port over the Director’s Audio Commentary, the 6 minutes of Deleted Scenes and the Theatrical Trailer? Sheer laziness. So, if you are one of the few that are interested in picking up this title, I’d seek out the US counterpart to at least get the best package available.
A few reshoots, a more meaningful ending, better direction and decent editing may have resulted in something halfway watchable from this sorry mess but what we have isn’t even that. Unfortunately, no matter what glimmers of potential there are here in terms of cast or premise, the end result is still wholly illogical and deeply unsatisfying, rendering the entire movie little more than an utter waste of your time. You’re going to be disappointed that the likes of Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan and Juliette Binoche signed up for this – let alone Al Pacino and Ray Liotta – and would likely wish that the wasted 95 minutes of your life could be returned back to you. And you’ll never get that back, so, trust me, steer clear of this one.
On Region B-locked UK Blu-ray, we get the same impressive video, different but equally good audio, but shamefully none of the extras that the US release had, making this a bad purchasing option even for those who somehow found something to like about this movie. I wouldn’t even waste your time on a rental, let alone a purchase, you’ll only be buying a whole load of disappointment.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £15.99