The movie “Snitch,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, is about an honest businessman whose son is sent to prison on a narcotics charge that can only be reduced with information leading to the arrest of a “bigger fish” in the drug game.
The son refuses to play snitch and John Matthews (played by Johnson) takes it upon himself to dive into the underbelly of the drug scene in Missouri to bring a supplier to justice and free his son in the process.
For a movie described as a fast-paced action thriller, “Snitch” lacks any real action. “The Rock” does not punch a single person in this movie. The action was far and few between, and tense moments came off as insincere and sloppy. Even at the height of what seemed to be the climactic action scene, it failed to grab any real attention.
Describing it as an action thriller is confusing after seeing the movie, and the many tone inconsistencies throw you off. As the film focuses on Johnson and his partner in crime, played by “The Walking Dead” actor Jon Bernthal, making their way through the shady side of Missouri, it starts to become more of a character-driven movie. Johnson and Bernthal both play their parts well enough, but the poorly written characters are what really hold the movie back.
You have the ruthless drug lord, the gritty drug dealer, the up-and-coming politician, the undercover cop, the stoic father and a handful of other generalized clichés that do not help the vague critiques the film tries to make about the “war on drugs” with its plot.
The direction was odd. There were some needless scenes and a couple of continuity errors with background props. Waugh shot the high-tension scenes from odd angles. Deep conversations took place with half of the screen taken up by the back of an actor’s head while they were not getting another close up of Matthew’s massive Dodge Ram.
Is it a fast-paced action thriller? Is it a character driven crime drama? Is it a statement on the drug incarceration rates of the U.S.? I don’t know. I think it tries to be all three of these at the same time, but never fully achieves any of those things. It does get some things right, but at the end you hardly have any feelings toward the movie at all, good or bad. I would pass on this one.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5