Son of No One Trailer: Could We Be Looking at the Biggest Whiff of 2011?
The NYC cop drama/thriller Son of No One set up quite a bubble for itself ahead of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival: Talented filmmaker Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fighting) had his muse Channing Tatum spearheading a cast including Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta and, going straight, Tracy Morgan, creds that helped the movie earn the festival's prestigious closing-night spot. And then came that notorious press and industry screening, piercing the bubble and hurling Son into indie limbo. Art-house ensemble piece or genre potboiler? Misunderstood gem or biggest swing-and-miss of 2011? And while I'd never suggest judging a film by its trailer, the latest spot does prompt the necessary question asked of all marketing: Does this preview actually make you want to see Son of No One? That's where things get complicated.
Well, sort of. I'd watch anything Montiel makes; A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is one of the more underrated efforts of the last five years, and although I can totally see the guy making a misfire, I can't at all see him making a boring misfire. Your mileage may vary, however, especially if the cop-genre trappings -- a little Prince of the City here, a little Serpico there, a little holy shit is that Tracy Morgan -- truly feel laid on as thick as they appear to be. (At least it's an improvement over the festival trailer.)
This really is a tough, tough sell job for Anchor Bay, a distributor that knows from schlock but also really wants you to take this seriously in a typically competitive fall marketplace. Does it work?