Hunter Biden symbolizes everything that’s wrong with both Hollywood and the legacy media.
The former ignored the First Son’s potentially criminal behavior and comic potential. No late-night shows made him a recurring punchline, nor did “Saturday Night Live” task one of its “players” to make the troubled Biden a recurring foil.
The latter? Reporters abandoned all objectivity by downplaying Hunter Biden’s connections in 2020 to drag his pappy across the presidential finish line.
“My Son Hunter’s” end credits remind us of that sorry state of affairs. We’re treated to a “greatest hits” assembly of reporters suppressing a story they feared might swing the election.
Some suggest they were right.
It’s the perfect way to sum up the film’s purpose, to tell a story every American needed to hear. It also reminds us how “My Son Hunter” gorges on Biden’s business dealings, information that bogs down a chilling character study born from the “Laptop from Hell.”
Laurence Fox of “Lewis” fame stars as Hunter, the drug-addled Biden who feasted on women, drugs and sketchy business deals. He’s a tortured, middle-aged wreck who craves Daddy’s approval and knows he’s the least of the Biden bunch.
So he drowns himself in drugs, using anonymous sex to numb the remaining pain. The film’s opening scenes pack the urgency of a fever dream. They’re also more explicit than what many expect from right-leaning storytellers like producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney.
Then again, could anyone tell the Hunter Biden story through a PG-13 lens?
Hunter learns that his abandoned laptop has a treasure trove of his sins on it for all to see. So he confers with his world-famous father, Joe Biden, for guidance.
“Dynasty” alum John James’ Biden never approaches caricature, nor does the actor dwell on Biden’s diminished mental state.
Can father and son keep the laptop out of the headlines? Will Hunter find a connection with a prostitute with the proverbial heart of gold (Emma Gojkovic, impressive)?
Director Robert Davi (“The Dukes”) coaxes strong performances from his cast, even supporting players sharing reams of information to flesh out the full Hunter Biden saga. Davi similarly shows some aesthetic finesse, both with his smart staging and knack for capturing Hunter’s wobbly mindset.
Screenwriter Brian Godawa finds the tortured soul lurking within Hunter Biden, and he refuses to let it stray far from the screen. The recent Ted Kennedy feature “Chappaquiddick” pulled off a similar feat, depicting a man whose monstrous actions didn’t make us forget the soul crushed by his mistakes.
That empathy separates “My Son Hunter” from the far-Left attacks we so often see in pop culture, most notably from the late-night ranks.
Still, the film teeters between smart storytelling and sledgehammer polemics. Davi and co. shrewdly deploy Gina Carano as both a Secret Service agent and narrator, the Daily Wire star adding pithy comments along the way.
And yes, some hair will be sniffed before the end credits roll.
It’s more agreeable than how other characters are left to spell out every last detail of the Biden scandals, an ill-fated decision shared by Showtime’s “The Comey Rule.” Both projects chose poorly.
Other, more successful tics include a few “fact check” warnings to let us know what we’re watching actually happened.
There’s creative license in play, of course, but the film’s eagerness to share so many sordid details leaves less room for the story to breathe. The narrative also moves at a frustrating pace, lacking a big-picture sense of how the Bidens provided damage control with the press’ help.
The film opens by mocking the media’s “mostly peaceful” framing of the Black Lives Matter protests, one of many overt nods to Conservative, Inc. Some characters break the fourth wall, while others endure animated flourishes, reminding us “My Son Hunter” is first and foremost satirical.
The abrupt tonal changes should hurt the film, but Davi’s steady hand prevents that from happening.
Other comic morsels are just plain delicious.
“I wanna make him proud of me,” Hunter says of his father, all the while snorting drugs off of the carpet.
Fox’s performance anchors the film, full stop. He’s convincing as a drugged-out scion running out of time to prove his worth. His Biden is alternately boastful and sad, ready to puff out his chest even if he can’t believe his own hype.
The actor’s commitment to the character, and details too outrageous to be false, paper over “My Son Hunter’s” flaws.
Hollywood wouldn’t go near the Hunter Biden story despite its over-the-top details and scandalous allegations. “My Son Hunter” is far from perfect, but it dutifully captures the Biden family’s train wreck relative at his worst.
Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.
This article was originally published at Hollywood in Toto.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.