As a photographic student I feel he is coming along quite nicely. I have been teaching photography since the late 70's and for the most part beginning photographers "discover" the same subjects and themes year after year. His work is not unique for that matter. It will take him years to really develop into a style that may or may not be marketable beyond his last name. This early attention, totally undeserved in my estimation may in the long run hurt him if he isn't strong enough to forge on.
I wouldn't be so hard on him. Give him a chance and check back on his work in another 3 or 4 years.