¨Every move I make or don´t make, Jason will have to live with for the next 10 years of his life.¨
Snitch is far from being a fast-paced action thriller like the trailers suggest. It is more of a dramatic thriller with some moments of suspense, but the film mostly takes itself seriously and moves at a very slow pace. The film is based on real events and in a way it criticizes the way America has handled its war on drugs. As much as I like The Rock (I think he´s incredibly charismatic and has made some great films) this role wasn’t made for him. He is good for action scenes or comedy, but I don’t think he was the right choice for a drama. This is the first film I´ve seen from director, Ric Roman Waugh, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road and the upcoming Lone Ranger), and I wasn’t too impressed with his work. The film might be entertaining enough for a quiet night out, but it is completely forgettable. I doubt we will remember anything about Snitch by the end of the year because it is a very sluggish film. This wasn’t a very enjoyable film, but I can see fans of The Rock wanting to go see it.
After Jason (Rafi Gavron) accepts to receive a package of ecstasy sent to his house by his best friend Craig, he is arrested by the DEA who have set him up. Jason isn’t a drug dealer, but in order to get a lighter sentence, Craig decided to trick Jason into receiving the package. The DEA offer Jason the same bargain, but he refuses to set anyone up and therefore is sentenced to prison for 10 years (which is the minimum mandatory sentence for this offense). When his estranged father, John Matthews (The Rock) hears about the news from his ex-wife he decides to help out. He makes a bargain with the District Attorney Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) to go undercover and make an arrest so his son can have his sentence lowered. With the help of DEA Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper) and an ex-con employee of his named Daniel (Jon Benrthal) he is introduced to the underworld and begins taking huge risks for his son. John is willing to do what it takes in order to get his son out of jail.
The plot is pretty simple and the film feels authentic and true to life at times. The risks that The Rock´s character takes for his son are believable, but I thought that several things resolved themselves rather quickly for a film that was trying really hard to take itself seriously. I was disappointed with the final 15 minutes of the film, and the dialogue was a little too preachy. I had serious issues with the pace as well. I also thought there were several unnecessary action scenes involving shaky camera work (especially during the chase scenes). The film fails to really tackle the social issue it tries to raise at the beginning of the movie and by the end you feel like you are watching yet another forgettable thriller. I still give the film a little credit for at least mentioning the issue at the beginning of the film and trying to make us aware that we seriously have to change the way the DEA handles sentences for first time offenders.