Rated PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray, digital download and on demand
Writer-director Rick Roman Waugh must detest mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes because his latest film, “Snitch,” is a blatant indictment of the practice. Despite literally driving this political message home with a semi, the movie is also a reasonably effective thriller.
“Snitch” starts by introducing viewers to Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron), a decent young man accused of drug trafficking after a “friend” sets him up. He is unable to beat the charges and winds up in prison where he is ill-equipped to deal with the ruffians surrounding him. In a desperate attempt to help, Jason’s father, John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), cuts an unusual deal with a US attorney (Susan Sarandon). She agrees to reduce Jason’s sentence if John aids in the arrest of a major drug dealer, something he is in a unique position to accomplish since his legitimate construction business is a perfect front for transporting drugs.
As the film charges forward, John immerses himself in the world of underground drug cartels, and finds himself in increasingly dangerous situations. Waugh is self indulgent in his approach to the material, and the dialogue occasionally bogs in preachy rhetoric. Once one moves beyond these annoyances, however, “Snitch” works as a simple and enjoyable action thriller.
As usual, Johnson plays his stock character – a tough guy with a heart of gold. It would be nice to see Johnson push his boundaries, but he’s good at this part, and “Snitch” isn’t refined enough to require great acting.
DVD and Blu-ray extras include a 50-minute making-of documentary and an audio commentary with Waugh and editor Jonathan Chibnall.
By Forrest Hartman
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