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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Snitch

MOVIE REVIEWS

SNITCH (2013)

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Michael K. Williams, Melina Kanakaredes, Nadine Velazquez, Rafi Gavron, David Harbour, Benjamin Bratt, Lela Loren, JD Pardo, Kyara Campos, James Allen McCune and Harold Perrineau.

Screenplay by Justin Haythe and Ric Roman Waugh.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh.

Distributed by Summit Entertainment.  112 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

 

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Snitch

You don't expect subtlety from a drama when the lead actor's nickname is "The Rock" and you don't get it from Snitch.  Then again, if you are looking for a movie called Snitch, or for that matter a movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, you probably wouldn't want delicacy or tact.

The slight problem is that Snitch is actually telling a very serious story, and the presence of the former wrestler makes it just a little harder to take seriously, whether that is fair to Mr. Johnson or not.

As professional wrestlers go, Dwayne Johnson is actually a very likable and rather able light action comedy star.  There is a reason that he has the closest thing to a legit acting career of any former WWE star.  Still, it is rare that Johnson has been called upon to play a serious dramatic role.  And while Snitch is far from Hamlet, it is swimming into waters that are a little more delicate and thoughtful than Johnson is used to navigating.

Snitch is "based on a true story" and yet does not feel even remotely realistic.  Still, it actually has a somewhat valid point to make about the war on drugs and the unfairness of criminal sentences for narcotics, even if it makes it in a slightly ham-handed way.

Johnson plays John, a smart and accomplished businessman who owns a company that runs a fleet of trucks.  (Typecasting, I know...)  John has divorced his first wife (Melina Kanakaredes) and become a bit estranged from his son Jason (Rafi Gayron) because he has a new family of a hot younger wife (Nadine Velazquez) and daughter.

Jason is slightly troubled but mostly a good kid.  However, he gets set up by an old friend, who sends him a huge shipment of ecstasy via FedEx for him to watch until the friend gets back in the country, after Jason told him not to.  Still, Jason is curious and opens the package, and turns out to be the only person in the world who (the audience certainly isn't) to be surprised when this leads to a raid by the DEA.

Due to the oddness of the legal system when it comes to drugs, the only way the kid can get out of at least a decade behind bars is doing the same exact thing to some other kid.  The Rock's boy (The Pebble?) doesn't know any real druggies and refuses to narc on some innocent friend, even when the other inmates realize that he's a scrawny and sensitive kid and start pounding on him.  Therefore, dad decides to teach him a lesson in fair play by setting someone up himself.

John approaches the US Attorney (Susan Sarandon), a slightly sleazy woman with political ambitions.  She tries to dissuade the man, so John takes matters into his own hands, pressuring a paroled employee named Daniel (Jon Bernthal) who is trying to go straight to introduce him to some drug dealers he had known.  Once John gets a foothold in the drug world, Sarandon's Attorney realizes his worth and makes a deal with him, assigning a narcotics officer (Barry Pepper) to keep an eye on the guy. 

However as the stakes get higher, John and Vinnie are double-crossed at every turn by both the criminals and the cops, so they take matters into their own hands, leading to a series of bullet-riddled car (and truck) chases.

Way to take an important subject and dumb it down, guys.

However, even if Snitch squanders its very timely subject matter (and it does), for what the movie is – a slightly cheesy action film about the criminal underworld, Snitch mostly delivers the goods in the way that only The Rock can do.

Ken Sharp

Copyright ©2013 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 29, 2013.

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Copyright ©2013 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 29, 2013.

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