Dwayne Johnson has done well for himself and he has had an interesting career path so far. He started out as a wrestler in the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) and then began to appear in action movies like Welcome to the Jungle and Faster. He has a charismatic personality and his hulking frame is well suited to action roles. In this new action drama directed by former stunt man Ric Roman Waugh he plays a father forced to go undercover for the DEA to help them catch a drug dealer. John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) is a regular guy with a teenage son called Jason (Ravi Gavron) who is set up by a drug dealer and is facing a ten year jail sentence for drug possession. The only way Jason can possibly be released without charge is by helping the DEA bring down the drug dealer who set him up in the first place. Unfortunately Jason doesn’t know anything and has nothing useful to offer the DEA so his father makes a deal with the ambitious District Attorney Joanne Keeghan (played by Susan Sarandon.) The deal is that John will go undercover and infiltrate the drug cartel lead by dealer Juan Carlos ‘El Topo’ Pintera (Benjamin Bratt.) When the DEA gather enough evidence against the cartel to convict them they may release Jason or at the very least give him a reduced sentence. John teams up with Daniel James (Jon Bernthal) an ex-convict who becomes his partner and attempts to infiltrate the gang. Both Daniel and John’s wife are understandably concerned about the dangers of going undercover and John will have to walk a tightrope to stay alive and not blow his cover.
Some elements of the story in Snitch seem a bit implausible and the viewer may need to suspend their disbelief while watching the film. Why would a drug cartel trust a stranger with no previous experience and welcome him into the family so easily? Maybe the film will explain how this comes to pass in a logical way. The story itself is compelling enough though even if it does seem a tad unrealistic and the trailer does a good job at creating suspense.
This is a good role for Dwayne Johnson and it is nice to see him take on a more dramatic character. John Matthews is a regular guy and not some gun-toting ex-military superman. Dwayne Johnson is not that bad an actor and he looks convincing here as an average Joe placed in a difficult situation. Every action actor tries to branch out and do different roles sooner or later. Both Stallone and Schwarzenegger attempted to broaden their horizons by acting in comedies or playing more serious characters with mixed results. Now it is Dwayne Johnson’s turn and he may fare better than the others.
The supporting cast in Snitch is also pretty good and the trailer avoids overdoing it with too many action scenes and explosions. An over reliance on action and stunts would ruin a movie like this which has the potential to offer some decent crime drama and not just shoot outs. Hopefully the director can maintain a nice balance between both action and drama to give the film more appeal. Not all problems cannot be solved with bullets and violence.
The director is relatively new to the game but he does have some previous experience with crime movies. He directed Felon a prison drama with Steven Dorff and Val Kilmer back in 2008. He also has a new film in production called Currency although there are no real details about the movie available at present. It’s cool to see a stunt man throw his hat into the ring and become a director.
Snitch has the potential to be a riveting action drama and may be well worth a look when it is released on April 5th.
Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.