Snitch (PG-13)

Action/Adventure 112 February 22, 2013
By Melissa Anderson
Though Snitch loudly announces itself as a social-issues movie, its nominal outrage over the severity of our nation's sentencing laws for first-time drug offenders is quickly subsumed by a jacked-up narrative of a father going to extremes to save his son. Inspired by a real-life incident detailed in a 1999 episode of Frontline, the film tracks construction-company magnate John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) as he offers to go undercover to nab drug dealers in exchange for a reduced prison sentence for his estranged 18-year-old son, Jason (Rafi Gavron). The teenager, still apparently smarting over his parents' divorce, faces 10 years in jail for accepting a package filled with Ecstasy and refuses to concoct evidence against a friend to lessen his time behind bars. In order to assuage the hurt he's caused his firstborn, John, after reading the Wikipedia entry for "drug cartel," first has closed-door meetings with a federal prosecutor (Susan Sarandon)-- her villainy signaled by both her childlessness and a snide remark about gay weddings-- then drives 1,000 miles in a semi containing mountains of coke secreted in cement bags. As the plot grows more and more absurd-- Benjamin Bratt shows up as a drug kingpin named "El Topo"-- Snitch reveals another kind of political agenda. After telling his co-conspirator in the blow setup that "there's no way I'm going to let either side dictate our fates," John stands in a gun shop, coolly assessing the arsenal that's his for the taking.
Ric Roman Waugh Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Barry Pepper, Harold Perrineau, Jon Bernthal, Michael Kenneth Williams, Nadine Velazquez, Benjamin Bratt, JD Pardo, Melina Kanakaredes Ric Roman Waugh Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment

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