Snitch: Politcally Motivated Crime-Thriller
Barry PepperBenjamin Bratt...
Action & AdventureDrama...
Everyone knows that Dwayne Johnson can kick some serious ass, but did anyone know that ‘The Rock’ is also capable of delivering a pretty solid acting performance, as well?
Snitch, the latest film to come from the hands of a veteran stuntman-turned-actor, Ric Roman Waugh, sees the ex-wrestler taking on a leading role – of a father who will stop at nothing to free his innocent son from prison – finally proving to the world that ‘The Rock’ is more than just one big muscle.
The story is centred on John Matthews (Johnson); a hardworking construction company owner. Matthews’ seemingly unadventurous life is soon turned upside down when he learns that his estranged son, Jason, is busted for possession of a seemingly large shipment of ecstasy pills. Wrongly charged with the intent to distribute – a pretty serious federal charge – Jason faces at least ten years of prison, unless he rats out his associates.
Unfortunately, Jason doesn’t have anyone to give up, and this is where his concerned father comes in. Matthews goes on to seek help from Joanne Keeghan (Sarandon); a tough-as-nails lawyer who’s currently working on cracking down on the drug trade herself, alongside undercover DEA agent Cooper (Pepper). Joanne, unfortunately, isn’t willing to help reduce the sentence unless Jason talks.
Desperate to help his son, Matthew offers to go undercover, infiltrate the drug cartel and deliver the people needed to get his son out of jail. With the help of employee and an ex-con, Daniel James (Bernthal), the despairing dad heads out on his mission, eventually landing himself into the dangerous waters of the drug world and an inevitable showdown with the merciless ‘El Topo’ (Bratt).
Don’t let the large presence of Dwayne Johnson fool you; Snitch is not just another over-the-top, head-bashing, car chasing, mindless action flick. For those who were hoping it was, you will be seriously disappointed. Allegedly based on true events, Snitch is a more subtle crime-thriller which touches on the drug laws that are currently in practice in the U.S, comparing the nonsensical punishment for non-violent drug crime to that of murderer and rape.
Waugh also manages to find space for a few intense shoot-outs, explosions and car chases to keep moviegoers satisfied, but the overall focus is on the drama and criticism directed at existing drug offense laws, and although it occasionally trips into clichés, the overall package is much more.
Johnson’s performance – although not Oscar worthy – is commendable and will definitely surprise those who are not used to seeing him in such a vulnerable role. The supporting cast – which includes Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal, The Green Mile‘s Barry Pepper and good old Susan Sarandon – all deliver great performances, giving the film just enough grit and substance to prevail.