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“Snitch” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

February 21, 2013

snitch2The poster, the tv spots, and the theatrical trailer I just viewed seem to be playing head games with you, the viewers. “Snitch” is NOT a high speed, shoot ’em up, THE ROCK, high octane action thriller, well there is action, but very minimal. Here the filmmakers of “Snitch” have conjured a film, which is apparently inspired by a true story, that makes a crucial choice to focus more on character and bringing up the topical debate of drug laws that will have viewers questioning those laws and wonder why they haven’t been reevaluated.

John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), a father whose teenage son, Jason (Rafi Gravon), is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime and is looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Desperate and determined to rescue his son at all costs, he makes a deal with the U.S. attorney (Susan Sarandon) to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel on a dangerous mission — risking everything, including his family and his own life.

One of the biggest surprises this movie has to offer is it’s star, Dwayne Johnson actually gives a thoughtful and committed performance. His first real dramatic performance comes in the form of a dedicated, yet estranged family man. The movie doesn’t depict him as a glorified hero, nor should it, the film does it’s best to ground the reality through and through. One scene stands out the most, is at the beginning/middle of the film, when John is attacked by some drug dealers. At this very moment, most Rock fans would assume he would take these mother fuckers DOWN! But, going the other way, was quite surprising, shocking to see the Rock beaten down and left for the dogs.

The movies overall cast is utilized well; Susan Sarandon & Barry Pepper stand out the most. “The Walking Dead’s” Shane, Jon Bernthal was ok, but to me all I saw was Shane. His performances wasn’t anything to brag about or swoon over if you’re a “Walking Dead” fan. The kid was developed to a standard that certainly didn’t come off cliche or annoying. The scenes where John visits his son in prison are some of the major strong suits the movie has.

However, the movie does have it’s weak spot, the story itself is a bit of stretch to buy. Yes, it states at the beginning of the film that it’s inspired by a true story, but here’s the thing about that, there are two kinds of true story films, INSPIRED & BASED ON. Inspired, which is clearly what “Snitch” is, stretches, embellishes, and takes liberties to make a DRAMATIC amaount of changes to fit it as an entertaining movie. Of course ‘based on’ movies do this too, but more or less they’re not as drastic. Be that as it may, it’s a movie that I think people should give a chance to see once, mostly for Johnson’s sake, to see what he brings to the table is worth the ticket.

GRADE: B

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