Nick Cannon stars as Mike, a marine, trying to figure out things in his life during the 96 hours he has left before having to ship out for the first time to Iraq. While on a bus to his hometown, he meets a pretty spanish girl, Cristina, but before he can become intimate with her, his friend, Jake meets him at the bus stop, to venture out and make the time they have left a big party. Mike begins to realize his perspective on what's most important to him now, has changed, while some of his friends haven't. "AMERICAN SON" does a decent job capturing the small-town life perspective, but, even this has been done before and better in "STOP-LOSS" and "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS." The majority of the film, focusing on Mike's catharsis from boy into adult, is less impressive. To begin with, Nick Cannon is never believable when called upon to deliver for more than about 30 seconds. At this point in his career, he just doesn't show much range. It's a shame, and maybe he will, however, after some acting classes. But, whatever he could mask in mediocre comedies, can't be disguised in scenes wherein he needs to really deliver, as called for in "AMERICAN SON." More importantly, even if a better actor had assumed the role of Mike, "AMERICAN SON" is a "so what?" kind of film. There's just not much to it. It raises some ideas and situations, but never really evolves them. Sure, it might be hard to do in only 85 minutes, but this script doesn't even touch the surface. The romantic angle is the best part of the film, but this too, is totally wasted for no obvious reason, in place of surface issues being raised but never dealt with! One surprise does exist here, however! Tom Sizemore, in his small role, is terrific!
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. Color vary in quality, sometimes natural and sometimes subdued. The image is decent, but there's excessive grain in spots and contrast is lacking.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix offers limited dynamic range. There are some ambient effects, but the mix is dull, and separation effects are sometimes effective, but often feel tacked on.