7.5 out of 10 | Rental
Rated: PG-13 Sequences of violence and drug content.
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Writers: Ric Roman Waugh, Justin Haythe
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jom Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi Gavron, Melina Kanakaredes, Benjamin Bratt, Lela Loren, JD Pardo, Harold Perrineau
SYNOPSIS: A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal.
REVIEW: Felon writer/director and established sixteen year stunt veteran Ric Roman Waugh returns with a story co-written with Revolutionary Road and the upcoming Johnny Depp version of The Lone Ranger writer Justin Hayte. Based, or inspired, by true events - as most films seem to be these days - Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson will stop at nothing to protect his family.
John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson, Fast Five) works hard to keep his construction business afloat. He supports his second wife and little girl as well as worries about his ex-wife Sylvie Collins (Melina Kanakaredes, Percy Jackson and the Olympians:The Lightning Thief) and his son Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron, Celeste and Jesse Forever). When Jason is set up for receiving the illegal drug ecstasy in the mail during a sting operation, he is put into federal custody and faces the "mandatory minimum" sentence of 10 years in prison unless he is willing to roll over on somebody else. Jason can't and won't roll over on any other friends because he doesn't know any actual drug users or dealers. His father John looks for any way to reduce his son sentence by trying to find a way to find drug pushers on his own. Forced to turn to his one of his workers Daniel James (Jon Bernthal, The Walking Dead), an ex-con with narcotic ties John Matthews is introduced to a local drug dealer named Malik (Michael Kenneth Williams, Boardwalk Empire). Offering his trucks to transport drugs for Mailk, John Matthews is assured by federal prosecutor Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon, Cloud Atlas) and Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper, True Grit) that the final meet will reduce Jason's sentence down to one year. But the plug is pulled on the operation by Cooper when the promise of the larger cartel kingpin Juan Carlos 'El Topo' Pintera (Benjamin Bratt, The Lesser Blessed) could be captured. With John facing an uncertain future for himself against the drug dealers and cartel and facing uncertain terms certain the federal prosecutor, he puts his own plan in motion, regardless of the risk to his own life
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes another roll that separates him from that of a brute character stemming from his World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) days and even some of the more recent comedy work he had done for Disney. Maybe one of his better performances, Johnson excels as a desperate man willing to do anything to protect his son. Even with his muscles and height Johnson's character isn't infallible or indestructible, making him a much more realistic character. John Bernthal's Daniel "Cruiser: James looks like he stepped from the small screen as his character Shane from the AMC series The Walking Dead. Barry Pepper and Susan Sarandon make up the supposed good guys as a undercover agent and federal prosecutor respectively, ultimately looking to make as big as score against the drug cartels as possible. William, playing the local drug peddler, and Bratt, playing the elusive former para military drug lord, give Johnson's character enough drama to deal with.
The story is quickly set as the competent businessman John Matthews deal with the day-to-day operations of this construction company. When his son Jason is busted receiving the Ecstasy in the mail, the story quickly speeds up as the lives of Jason's family lives spin out of control. As Dwayne's character looks to seal the deal against other drug dealers to save his son he faces a hail of bullets and double crosses at each turn.
This film has plenty of mild intrigue and action throughout, although the ending was a touch week. From bullet ridden drug exchanges to a climactic semi tractor-trailer truck chase on the highway, Dwayne Johnson has a solid action film on his hands. There's drama around the family and dealing with the government and the drug dealers.
A strong dramatic effort by all involved from Dwayne Johnson to Barry Pepper to Susan Sarandon to Williams and Bernthal, these actors and actresses have enough talent to get the job done. The suspense and intrigue are evidence enough with a young man's life and the balance, the dangerous world of drug trafficking, and the threats of Injury or even death as a end to an innocent life.
Snitch, based on true events, pits the father against the government machine and the drug cartel. Well-made dramatic and suspenseful film, Snitch makes for a decent fit for February movie going.