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I have never been much of a fan of The Rock. My love of professional wrestling tapered off around the time I was about 15 years old, and that was before The Rock's heydey. His movies (the ones I have seen) have been marginal at best in my opinion. But for a guy who was ushered into the field of acting to capitalize on his popularity and not to win Academy Awards, he has come a long way from The Scorpion King. What I liked about "Snitch" is it's the anti-action movie. I expected a movie like the terrible "Last Stand" starring Ah-nold Schwarzenegger. I expected fabricated car chases and shootouts where the bad guys must be shooting blanks because they are unable to shoot the good guy even when they have a clear shot. I expected scenes where The Rock would beat up 10 guys who all take turns coming at him instead of simply jumping him. But "Snitch" was different. It's a story of the lengths a father will go to help his son. I don't want to give away any spoilers but he goes very far. The Rock -- he's credited as Dwayne Johnson (I guess so viewers take the movie seriously) -- is very believable and does himself proud with some consistent good acting. He shows the trepidation and vulnerability of a father who puts his life on the line to save his son, who is imprisoned after committing a dumb crime. But the actor who steals the movie is John Bernthal, who plays an ex-con trying to live an honest life but is dragged back to the dark side in order to help The Rock, whom he works for doing construction. Michael Kenneth Williams will forever be known as "Omar" and is typecast but does a good turn as a drug dealer. The other supporting cast, including Susan Sarandon as a district attorney, are excellent. "Snitch" moves at a deliberate pace, which gives it more of a natural and believable feel. The few action sequences are good and do not seem overly exaggerated. I will go out on a limb and say this movie will not be nominated for Best Picture, but compared with the junk I've seen so far this year (including the latest Die Hard), I recommend "Snitch".
I'm going to be somewhat vague about the plot to not give away
My wife and I decided we wanted to go see a movie, both of us enjoy action movies and both of us enjoy Dwayne Johnson as an actor. Neither of use really thought it was going to be anything but a bunch of explosions, gun fights, and ass-whippings. I was amazingly surprised at how far Johnson has come in his acting ability since Mummy 2/Walking Tall. He showed real and believable emotions in his interactions with his "family" and others. Jon Bernthal was the perfect choice for his role. He showed even with this supporting role he is ready to be a major lead in my opinion. Susan Sarandon played her job as a career politician to the absolute limit.
If you are looking for a generic action movie, go see Die-Hard. If you want to see the story of how far parents will go for their children see this movie.
This movie marks the departure of Dwayne Johnson from action actor to dramatic actor and the transformation works. Johnson demonstrates a surprising aptitude for dramatic acting as his character struggles with a number of distressing issues. The problem with the movie is the story. It's premise is implausible. The main character's son is busted on drug charges and he is in fact guilty, which makes him a far less sympathetic character. Nevertheless, that doesn't stop his father, played by Johnson, from coming to his son's assistance, albeit as unbelievable as it, and the entire movie hinges on the audience having to believe that the son is a victim, which he is not. If a movie needs a victim, then the victim should in fact be a victim. Another interesting character is the drug dealer played by Benjamin Bratt who plays the role effectively. Susan Sarandon and Barry Pepper also provide excellent performances as an ambitious DA and an undercover vice police officer respectively. Despite the flaws in the story, this is still a good movie and one that is worth watching.
Dwayne Johnson better known has The Rock, was thought of to be like
another Arnold Schwarzenegger, a muscle bound action hero who acts
tough and shouts out funny one liners. But then he did the movie
Gridiron Gang(2006),and my opinion of him changed, he took a little
departure from action films, and took a stab at drama, and he gave a
pretty descent performance, and he showed that he can act.
John(Dwayne Johnson) has his own construction business, is also happily married with a daughter. But Johns happy life is quickly turned upside, when his teenage son from another marriage is arrested for drug possession, cause a friend set him up. John not wanting to sit back and do nothing, is determined to get him out of prison. He volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel in hopes that it will get his son out of prison, with the help of U.S. Attorney(Susan Sarandon) and a D.E.A. agent(Barry Pepper), but will John pull it off?
I disagree with the critics, I thought the crime drama was very real. And when it was getting intense, you the audience feel it also. Dwayne Johnson gives a great performance, like he did in Gridiron Gang. You won't think of him as The Rock, but Dwayne Johnson the actor. Barry Pepper is good, so is Susan Sarandon.
Dwayne "the rock" Johnson hands down did an amazing job portraying the father who would go to any length to save his son! I wasn't expecting this movie to be this good but it had me. I wanted to immediately know what was going to happen next. Although this movie doesn't seem so realistic it is very intense and you want to know how each scene is going to turn out. If you are looking for a good action packed drama then this movie is definitely for you. I would recommend to go see this movies while it's out in theaters. It is by far a great entertaining movie and the characters believability in the movie is great! Although if you are a critic on films which aren't realistically possible then maybe this isn't for you. But overall I would give the rocks performance in this film an A.
I went into this film alone, on a lazy Saturday to get my mind off things. I wasn't expecting much, but I didn't want it to be a waste of 11 bucks. Knowing the market of action/thriller blockbusters, I guess I was expecting cars blowing up, gun fights all through the movie, and some crazy, somewhat unrealistic hand to hand combat by our huge friend Dwayne Johnson. I was expecting you're average, predictable "normal citizen suddenly becomes Jason Bourne" type action packed movie. If you're expecting that, and ONLY that, you will be somewhat disappointed. Lucky for me, I am a huge film buff and am open to sitting through any movie of any type and I just look for something entertaining, and this movie did not disappoint in that regard. The first hour and a half of it can legitimately be classified as more of a suspense-drama than a thriller. The screenplay wasn't anything amazing, but I do think Dwayne Johnson might have thrown himself in the eye of some producers and directors who write him off as no talent. His acting made the movie as believable as it was, and along with some of the supporting characters, and gritty suspenseful situations, this film found a way to intrigue me more than I thought it would have. The quote at the end of the film spoke volumes as to what the message of the movie was, and I think it was very well put together. If you're going to see this movie solely for action/entertainment value, then you might not be so happy with your investment, but if you want a well rounded, legitimate movie to go when you're bored or with a friend, I would recommend Snitch.
Snitch is a searing indictment against the current drug laws and the
fact that the draconian principles behind them. As we see in this film
it forces those ensnared to become police informants on friends to get
themselves out of a jackpot. Young Rafi Gavron gets himself in such a
jackpot as a friend who does deal drugs sets Gavron up beautifully with
enough Ecstasy to guarantee at least 10 years in Federal Penitentiary.
Young Gavron can work his way out of his jackpot, but the problem is that other than the kid who set him up, he doesn't know anyone in the illegal drug trade.
Dwayne Johnson is the kid's father and a working man who owns a construction company. He's divorced from Melina Kanakaredes, Gavron's mother and now he's got a second wife and child. Still he sees US Attorney Susan Sarandon and she's small comfort. She's running for elective office and is looking to get some big drug fish as notches on the prosecutorial gun.
So Johnson volunteers to bring in the big fish himself. Now he offers the use of his trucks to be drug couriers. But Sarandon and DEA agent Barry Pepper keep him in the game hoping for a bigger fish. Soon enough its one of the biggest fishes out there, a veritable whale in Mexican cartel leader Benjamin Bratt.
For action fans Snitch will definitely satisfy you. But also Dwayne Johnson creates a real character not a superhero. He's just an average man who is really putting himself in harm's way for his son.
The film reminds me a lot of both versions of 3:10 To Yuma where Van Heflin and Christian Bale are just citizens pressed into some disagreeable action like Johnson for the forces of law and order. There are also elements of the Robert Mitchum classic The Friends Of Eddie Coyle where Mitchum gets caught in the switches between the law and his criminal pals and is forced into the role of informer. The difference is that Mitchum is a petty crook and Johnson's a stand-up guy.
Susan Sarandon will chill you no end as the ambitious US Attorney who knows these laws are foul, but will use them for her own purposes. Also Barry Pepper as the law enforcement professional has some qualms and conscience. But even he's looking for the big bust and is willing to put Johnson on the line for it.
Snitch deals with the federal drug laws, but here in New York we pioneered that with the draconian Rockefeller drug laws. The sooner they're repealed the better, but we have to get through to some politicians who parade their law and order credentials by sponsoring such things.
This is a film both entertaining and informative and a real triumph for Dwayne Johnson.
I expected this to be a more physical type of movie, more suited to The
Rock, but it actually wasn't that at all. He plays the role of a dad
caught between two rival gangs: the DEA and a drug cartel. The stakes:
get his son out from prison where he pretty much was tricked into
The part that I felt most vividly about was this dirty aspect of the law called Minimum Mandatory Sentencing. A kid receives a package from a friend, filled with MDMA pills and then is caught by the police. The law required that he either rat somebody out or serve a minimum of 10 years in jail. That pretty much is the end of life for an 18 year old kid. I wonder, what if Dwayne Johnson's character would have been a tough muscle guy with a lot of guns? Wouldn't he feel it "mandatory" to kill at least two prosecutors?
The bottom line is that the movie had, beside the obvious thriller action bit, a deeper message about rigid laws that force, nothing more than the threats to your family that a gangster would use. I quite liked the film. The quality of it, though, was more like that of a TV movie. It must have been low budget, or at least it looked like that. Besides some of the names in the cast and the message I was talking about above, it was quite ordinary.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I would normally expect to see Dwayne Johnson in either a silly comedy (Tooth Fairy) or an action packed drama (the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation). This film was neither. There was not a lot of action in this film; it was more of a psychological thriller. I did not think that I would really like this film and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The trailer told the main gist of the film where John Matthew's (Dwayne Johnson) son is wrongly imprisoned and John will do anything to get him released. He strikes a deal with Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) who is the federal prosecutor, to help catch bad guys. In order to even get starting in figuring out how he is going to help Jason (Rafi Gavron), John has to get introduced to the dark side (so to speak). He discovers that one of his new employees, Daniel James (Jon Bernthal) may have some insight and so the partnership begins. The roller-coaster ride that these two take definitely keeps the story interesting. With the introduction of the cartel and its regional leader Juan Carlos "El Topa" Pintera (Benjamin Bratt), things really start to heat up. I can tell you this much, by the time you get to the middle of the film you will be thinking, how the heck is he going to get himself out of this mess. This film is supposedly based on a true story; if that is true than our legal system has gone hay-wire and some laws should really be amended. I think that the film succeeded in delivering the message that it intended to deliver. I just want to add that it was hard to see the "Rock" as a guy who really didn't know how to fight, but he is still pretty easy on the eyes. This film was pretty fast-paced and there were not a lot of lull moments (although there were a couple), which gives the film added appeal. I am glad to see Dwayne stretching his wings. Is he ready to do Hamlet? No, but he was not terrible in this film. I think that former stunt coordinator turned director; Ric Roman Waugh did a halfway decent job for his major film. Kudos! Although I am teetering between amber and green for this film, I am going to go ahead and give this film a green light.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hey guys, I'm giving this 7 out of 10. I liked it! Good setup and good
When a friend offers to send him a package of ecstasy pills, teenager Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron) is more than a little reluctant, but still curious. He accepts, and bam, he's arrested for drug distribution and sentenced to 10 years. Kid's doomed unless he sells out somebody else, which he can't. He knows nobody in the drug scene. End of the line? Not if his dad John Matthews can help it. Good old man of action Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson slips into the market to sell the baddies out himself, and a tight action thriller ensues. "Snitch" delivers a solid plot, tension, drama and effective action in the right places. At the same time, it raises interesting observations about US drug laws.
"Inspired by true events," one of the first lines on the screen said. Oh well, I thought. Another one of those. Sells better, huh? Then, I learned about those true events going on in the US legal system. Wait a minute, a boy is caught with a box of ecstasy pills no evidence he wanted to sell them, no criminal record and he gets a mandatory minimum of 10 years in jail?! Um... This is a country where pedophiles and rapists can go free.
It reminded me of an interview with US economist Jeffrey Miron that, just a coincidence, I'd read the same day in German newspaper "Der Spiegel". Legalize drugs already, he says. Portugal did it, and they're fine! People here take them anyway! The nation could save tons of money, crime rates would go down, less people would die. Interesting, I thought as I watched the movie. Instead, there's expensive drug laws possibly doing more harm than good.
I was impressed with the detail put into the main characters. Matthews has two families: his ex-wife and son, and his current wife and little daughter. We see the effects of his actions - past, as a bad father, and present, as a drug informant on both sides. We are also introduced to a ex-convict colleague he teams up with, that guy's family and the effects on them when things get tough. A rich plot and lot of tension derive from these back stories.
To boot, Susan Sarandon deserves special mention as the US District Attorney on the kid's case. Introduced as a cold, cynical bitch, she alternates between law enforcement, her agenda as a candidate for Congress, and eventually doing the right thing. But is it for the right reasons? She's an interesting character I could never completely dislike. Very nice performance.
All that said, "Snitch" isn't a deep masterpiece of modern cinema. Although slow-paced, it's designed as an action movie, with flashy stunts, a big ol' shootout and fist fights. The writing is effect- conscious, and so is the shaky-cam direction.
Looking around the Internet, I see "Snitch" receiving mixed reviews. Personally, I think this movie is well above average. Seeing it in the wake of the random and bad "A Good Day to Die Hard", I'll admit I was on the lookout for "this is how it's done, bitches" moments. Here are some: "The Rock" delivers a good performance in a rare serious role, a solid cast supports him, there's thought in the plot, characters are well- drawn with fleshed-out back stories, and they develop. Tangible stakes amount to "Breaking Bad"-level suspense, and you get well-placed, effective action scenes. Overall, "Snitch" makes for an evening well spent.
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