Review: 'Snitch' Is A Weak Portrayal Of This Strong & True Story
February 21st, 2013 1:05pm EST
For such a powerful story, its so-so portrayal 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 feature films 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 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. The Rock is tested on how far he’s willing to go for his son, as he is welcomed into the drug game first by Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire). More things are triggered than expected as Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) who plays a Mexican drug cartel heavy-weight, 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 lure a crowd based on fan curiosity or a “documentary-like” approach, rather than a narrative piece. The outcome may be shades of gray instead of black or white, therefore. This film will fall on wobbly legs and forgotten before Spring hits!
Grade: C / Genre: Action, Thriller / Rated: R / Run Time: 1 Hr. 40 Min.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Benjamin Bratt, Barry Pepper, Michael K. Williams
Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
Photo Credits: Summit Entertainment