Plot summary (from the studio): Dwayne Johnson stars as John Matthews, a businessman hit hard when his teenage son is wrongfully ensnared in a drug bust and threatened with a terrifying 10-30 years in federal prison (under the US government’s draconian minimum drug sentencing laws). The only option to reduce the sentence is to “snitch.” A desperate Matthews makes a deal with the politically ambitious federal prosecutor (Susan Sarandon) and infiltrates the operation of a violent drug dealer (Michael Kenneth Williams). When his amateur undercover work unexpectedly exposes a major player in the Mexican drug trade (Benjamin Bratt), the rules suddenly change and an already dangerous venture turns decidedly deadly.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- The ending scene where Jason gets out of jail and is reunited with his mother and John was actually quite touching. I don’t know why, as it was a very standard “released from prison reunion,” and I didn’t even particularly like the Jason character. But damned if I didn’t get a bit teary when he hugged his dad.
- The acting was somewhat decent here. I mean, at least the supporting characters were mostly known names (and in Sarandon’s case, very well known) and could be trusted to hold their own in scenes. I’m not saying these are award-worthy performances; far from it. Just that a decent supporting cast is not always present action movies where only the lead (and maybe the main baddie) are recognizable.
- Okay, in what parallel universe would it be even remotely plausible that some average Joe would be allowed to pretty much lead a major drug bust just to get his son out of jail early?
- I hate it when said average Joe goes toe-to-toe with seasoned drug dealers/murderers/thugs and gets the best of them. I realize when you’re built like The Rock, some things will naturally be in your favor, but come on. It’s fucking stupid that a drug empire can be cruising along and suddenly get taken down by a random civilian.
- This movie was too long by at least 20 minutes. There wasn’t *that* much going on in the plot, and since the pace wasn’t the greatest (Snitch dragged in several places), it might have been better to leave a few scenes on the cutting room floor.
- I agree that mandatory minimums for drug offenses is beyond a travesty at this point, but this film did very little to highlight the injustice or advocate for change. While watching, I just thought the mandatory minimum was the McGuffin selected to drive the plot. I didn’t realize (until the title card before the end credits) that this film was actually Taking a Stand on the issue.
It took me three separate sittings to finally get through Snitch, which is unusual for an “action” movie. I guess that speaks to how little the story or characters engaged me. I give this one 2 stars out of 5.