I was a big fan of Dito Montiel's first film, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" which took a gritty look at a segment in his life while growing up in a tough Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York City.


It bounced back and forth from past to present, but in a logical, balanced style that kept me interested in the story. I thought to was an interesting concept using Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey Jr as younger/older versions of himself though neither one looks anything like him; I guess that's the artistic license we must allow.


His second film, "Fighting" Dito returns to his New York City with a middle of the road story about street fighting. It didn't work as well because I don't think he worked well with some of the talent he used. Some of the actors didn't seem inspired... or something.

That definitely isn't the case with his latest film "The Son of No One", the performance from veteran actor Al Pacino and Ray Liotta play off well with the less experienced Channing Tatum (who has been in all three of Montiel's films) and Katie Holmes. Even so-so comedian Tracy Morgan gives us a good turn.


No, this time we get a story that just isn't cohesive; it doesn't make sense.


That's not good, especially when you are employing that past/present jumping style that Montiel seems to like. I you are going to do that, it better damned well make sense!


We start out with Tatum as an adult Jonathan 'Milk' White, getting home late but in time to put his young daughter to bed. His daughter suffers from seizures and it is a concern with Milk and his lovely wife Kerry (Holmes).

But Milk is haunted by a memory from his childhood - which we no flash back to - when he was living in the projects. He is cornered in his apartment - an apartment in which the locks and doors are useless as the thugs walk in and out at will - outside is a deranged crackhead pissed off because Milk has his gun.


The crackhead decides to break into the room where Milk is hiding and Milk pops a cap in him, killing him. The only witness to the crime was his friend Vincent who has mental issues but nevertheless helps Milk dispose of the body. But soon Milk is visited by another crackhead and offs him as well; well done for a young boy!


Again Vince helps him dispose of the body. But the police find the bodies anyway and a sympathetic detective Stanford (Pacino) fixes the paperwork and closes the case so that young Milk can go on with his life. You see Milk's now dead father was a cop and Stanford was his partner.


Everything seems honky dory until letters start popping up directed to a columnist at a newspaper. The letters concern a cover-up of the murders and stand to ruin a now adult Milk who is himself a cop.


Did Vince (now play by Morgan) decide to start talking? Well that's what it seems and other cops like his Captain (Ray Liotti) want Milk to fix it. After all it could ruin not only Milk's life, but somehow the entire department.



Now starts a struggle with guilt and a search for a way to resolve the problem. But wait....



Wasn't this just a kid defending himself? Why was there ever a coverup in the first place? The story, just doesn't make sense; it doesn't jibe.


And all the kings horses, and all the kings men can't fix it. Nor can the best acting in the world save it. It is a film based in the real world that present a real world problem that would have easily been justified in the real world.


"The Son of No One" is a well acted film that goes absolute no where. It leaves you scratching your head wondering what was Dito Montiel trying to convey and why did he make it so complicated; it wastes perfectly good talent.   -- GEOFF BURTON