Del reviews ‘Your Son’

Image courtesy of eOne.

“Your Son” (“Tu Hijo”) starring Jose Coronado, Ana Wagener, Asia Ortego. Directed by Miguel Angel Vivas. 103 minutes. Rated TV-MA.

Del’s take

It isn’t often a movie pisses me off. I hated “Natural Born Killers” so intensely I wrote a newspaper column about it. Unfortunately, “Your Son” falls into that category.

The movie is well made but I’m not going to give it a favorable review. I thought it was a useless piece of shit, not only unworthy of the time I spent watching it but a detriment to the human experience.

The story takes place in the Canary Islands where a successful surgeon (Jaime Jimenez, played by Jose Coronado) has just saved the life of a young boy. The surgeon, who is married with two kids, receives the desperate gratitude of the boy’s parents with the understated (and possibly condescending) humility of a man who’s often sanctified by overjoyed relatives when the prognosis results in the patient remaining on this side of the dirt.

That comes screeching to a halt when his own son Marcos (Pol Monen) appears in the ER. Marcos has had the living shit beat out of him, and floating around out there is a video record of the crime. In an instant Surgeon Jaime Jimenez is deprived of his calm, confident control over events and must trust his son’s fate to other surgeons and the cops investigating the assault.

Or must he?

Thus begins Dr.Jimenez’s odyssey for revenge. Suffice it to say things are not as they seem. Both Dr. Jimenez and the audience will receive a brutal instruction in the shortcomings of human moral anatomy.

I’ve seen movies like this, and some of them can be entertaining as hell. “No Country for Old Men” comes to mind. But something about “Your Son” triggered my anger reflex. Maybe it was the horribly sexist male-centric point of view, or the “What if it were YOUR son?” question the movie seems to ask.

Speaking to that point, I would answer that if it were MY son, I wouldn’t have done ANY of the things Dr. Jimenez did. Not one. His actions seem born of a monstrous selfishness I can’t wrap my brain around. Worse, the movie, by not exploring anything beyond Dr. Jimenez’s immoral choices, seems to approve of them, as if no reasonable person could have reacted otherwise. Seriously, what would you have done if it was YOUR son?

What a crock.

I think my overall objection has something to do with the fact that in every movie about man’s capacity to be a shit to his fellow man, the story always proceeds from the assumption that, hey, these things are wrong, so don’t do them. I don’t think “Your Son” does. I think its moral center is agnostic, which sounds fine for a psychiatry thesis but sucks for entertainment.

As I said, the movie is well made, albeit slow to the point of boring throughout much of its running time. The actors do a fine job. The script is well-written. The tone is consistent with the theme.

But “Your Son” is a piece of shit. I hated it, and I won’t recommend it.

I’ll give it a C-, because despite its vile message, it’s a well-made film.

Del Stone Jr. is a former journalist and author.