Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Melina Kanakaredes, Benjamin Bratt
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Run Time: 112 mins
Genre: Drama/ Action/ Thriller
Opens February 22nd
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix film fans! This week's new release is the inspired by a true story, crime thriller “Snitch”, starring Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon and Barry Pepper this is a new type of film for the rock as he is mostly known for his actions and comedies this is his chance to shine as a serious actor.
When John Matthews’ (Dwayne Johnson) got the call that his son, Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron) was framed and arrested on drug charges, a lot of emotions came to the surface. Guilt about not being there for his son; anger that Jason has screwed up his life and terror knowing that his son may face up to 30 years in prison if he doesn’t work with the authorities by giving up the name of someone who sells drugs in his inner circle.
Jason remains silent not wanting to frame anyone for the same charges he is facing, so John takes matters into his own hands. John approaches District Attorney Joanne Keeghan to cut a deal; he would pose undercover as a business man looking to score drugs as a second business. If he turns in his drug source, then Jason’s sentence will get reduced. Keeghan agrees, and under the watchful eye of Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper), John enters the seedy underworld of Missouri’s drug scene. Not really knowing where to start, John combs his employee’s records and finds the perfect candidate in Daniel James (Jon Bertha) a man twice convicted for narcotics. John convinces Daniel to make an introduction to local drug dealer Malik (Michael Kenneth Williams). If John can manage to convince Malik that he’s legit and get the feds to make the arrest, Jason will be on his way home in no time.
At least, that what John thinks what may happen. When Agent Cooper lets the staged drug bust slide, hearing that they may have access to Malik’s supplier, Keeghan sees the perfect opportunity and ups the ante for John. If John manages to get access to the drug supplier, Jason can go free immediately. Only catch is that by doing this, he is putting his whole family and his own life in danger because he is going up against not just a local drug lord but the Mexican Drug Cartel. To make matters worse the drug lord is a major player in the Mexican Drug Cartel, Juan Carlos “El Topo” Pintera (Benjamin Bratt). John only gets one opportunity to nail down Pintera, but is he in way over his head?
What “Snitch” excels in is that it is a rather well done, character driven drama; focusing more on the relationships, less on the action. The ethical questions and moral dilemmas that each character is placed in versus having a lot of action to support the film, is a fresh and unique approach. Although there is some shoddy camera work near the beginning of the film, it makes up with a artfully done car chase scene with a semi truck. Dwayne Johnson is not a strong enough actor to carry the entire film, but he does well in the role of the contractor father. The supporting cast that surrounds it really makes it sound worth watching; it is a complicated story which poses a lot of intriguing thought provoking questions, and it could spark some debate about how the legal system prosecutes drug offenders. Check out “Snitch” when it opens in theaters starting Friday February 22, 2013.