Dwayne Johnson as John Matthews
Barry Pepper as Agent Cooper
Jon Bernthal as Daniel James
Susan Sarandon as Joanne Keeghan
In theaters February 22
“Snitch” is the latest film Directed and co-written by the former stunt actor Ric Roman Waugh. “Snitch” follows a trucking company owner John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) as he attempts to infiltrate a dangerous drug-dealing operation. He does this in order to lower the sentencing time for his son, Jason, after an unjust prison sentence is handed down by the federal prosecutors because Jason foolishly accepts a shoebox full of Ecstasy from his best friend. As John gets pulled deeper into the murky waters of drug trafficking and a complicated undercover investigation, John Matthews finds himself uncertain of where to turn for help protecting himself, his son, his business and just about everyone close to him.
Although the job is dangerous, John is no vigilante hero. Much of his assignment consists of him driving his company semi truck stashed with cash or coke. When he finally goes a tiny bit rogue, after being pushed deeper than he’d like by both the slimy district attorney, Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) and the slimier Mexican cartel boss she’s after, it is hardly Dwayne Johnson at his action-hero best.
“Snitch” is not entirely a one-man show, though, and an excellent performance by Jon Bernthal who plays Daniel James; who happens make the film feel like a more complete, satisfying package. Daniel is an ex-con and a reluctant participant in Matthew’s plan. The supporting cast of this film do an excellent job. Despite the potential for some intense action sequences, sadly “Snitch” remains relatively free of butt-kicking moments – especially when we are expecting it coming from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The story and tone remain firmly entrenched in the world of dramatic thrillers.
Dwayne Johnson does a very nice job of playing John Matthews as a believable fish-out-of-water in the violence-prone drug world who looks terribly out of place. That is the surprising part of the real magic of Dwayne Johnsons’ acting skills – being able to play a compelling character despite his manly, tough, bad boy self.
“Snitch” does touch on issues with our legal system and the sentences handed out to first time nonviolent drug offenders without being overly preachy. Most of the information on how our courts handle them is embedded in the dialogue and not plastered in your face like a 112 minute commercial on drug policy reform. With that being said, “Snitch” will leave you in anticipation all the way to the end, which should have you leaving the theatre overall decently satisfied.