Movie Review: Snitch
Prinz Lee wrote this review 4 years ago
For such a powerful story, its so-so portrayal later this year easily categorizes SNITCH a forgotten-February-film!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Hollywood career continues to steer in a positive direction. I mean, this guy is in six features this year! Four of which will play consecutively between now and May, and another two later in the year – it’s a nonstop game for Hercules!
I’ve always enjoyed watching him. As a fan of WWE, I recall his debut, his growth, and last but not least…his mark! However, as physically appealing and charismatic as this guy may be in a WWE promo, ring, commercial, or kicking someone's ass in a film…like most of humanity…this guy has his limits. I’ve said it several times and I’ll say it again…acting that entails ACTING is not his forte. It’s an oxymoron that goes beyond anyone’s comprehension. It doesn’t work, and it kills emotional magic – especially with film’s that are laced with powerful, complex stories.
Based on true life events, SNITCH follows the story of a teenager sentenced to ten years under mandatory minimum drug laws that pushes a suburban father (Dwayne Johnson) to go undercover and serve up a senior drug dealer to reduce his son's sentence.
Mimicking the real events experienced by James Settenbrino – whose snitching experience was presented by PBS’s FRONTLINE some time ago (click here) – SNITCH is a screeching see-saw.
The first act is a drowsy trip down paint-drying-on-a-wall lane! It’s so upsetting considering the story’s set-up. One would think during its most vital scenes, heavy emotional distress would run parallel to talent's performance, but it was so uninteresting, a few in the crowd started to take bathroom breaks, breathers, maybe even make those procrastinating phone calls they've been toying around with!
The film’s saving graces comes once the second act hits, which involves The Rock’s commitment to work with the law, as well as riding the film side-by-side with co-stars that helped move SNITCH along.
Jon Bernthal (THE WALKING DEAD) truly is a talented actor and adds texture to this film. His story – which serves as subplot – was, in a twist of events, more appealing than the actual plot. High on intensity and explores humanity’s ways when evoking necessary evils for the greater good…
Then comes Barry Pepper (TRUE GRIT) and Susan Sarandon (CLOUD ATLAS) whose past work speaks for itself, as the law, test The Rock a good deal on how far he’s willing to go for his son, as is Michael K. Williams (BOARDWALK EMPIRE) who as first in line to welcome The Rock into the drug game triggers more than expected, and Benjamin Bratt (LAW & ORDER) who plays a Mexican drug cartel heavy-weight, with very little screen-time and dialog, yet sets an intimidating pace for The Rock when notifying him how much he knows about him and his family.
Once all the snitching starts to take off, one does feel the pace move along in lively, adventurous ways. Much to the film’s credit, with some sarcasm, chase thrills, gun-play, good guy/bad guy jargon, SNITCH tries to keep a balance between emotional distress and thrill-ride, making it a somewhat-enjoyable-experience, however, still falling a bit short due to some weaknesses within the script.
SNITCH may be one of those to lure a crowd based on fan-base, curiosity, and interest within some who may have an attitude of watching this with a “documentary-like” approach, rather than a narrative piece. The outcome may be shades of grey instead of black or white, therefore, really banking on a feeling after its first week or so, this will fall on wobbly legs, and forgotten before Spring hits!