Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Snitch - The Rock Fights Crime Without a Cape and Mask - Review


snitchposteer.jpgDwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as John Mathews - a successful owner of a construction and trucking company whose son, Jason (Rafi Gavron), is facing some serious jail time.  Jason agreed to accept and hold a package of drugs for a buddy, and the Drug Enforcement Agency swept in and cuffed him.  Locked up and awaiting trial with a penalty of 10 years in the big house, Jason seems screwed, until John comes up with a plan.

John makes the ambitious federal prosecutor and congressional candidate, Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), an offer she can't refuse.  He will go undercover and help bring down some major drug kingpins if she frees his son (I didn't say it was a good plan).

What could go wrong?

While this is an extremely unlikely and farfetched scenario, I'll be damned if it doesn't work.  

In general, you just want to like Snitch.  The Rock is a charismatic dude who knows how to fill the good guy with love, heart, soul and honor to the point where you are cheering every time he escapes a perilous situation, even if you realize the character was very stupid to put himself in that situation (this son better do more than buy Dad a tie for Father's Day).   

Plus, writer/director Ric Roman Waugh and co-writer Justin Haythe toss in a little moral ambiguity to spice up the scenario.  John ends up recruiting someone to help him who desperately is trying to escape this illegal drug dealing and trafficking life, which makes us wonder how far John is willing to go to save his son and at what expense.  This is gives the audience enough complication to make it interesting, and less obvious, while showcasing the acting talent of Jon Bernthal (a familiar face to those who love The Walking Dead).

Sadly, Waugh eventually does attempt to go for the obvious as he tries much too hard to pull at the heartstrings by making each character have some big declaration about how they are doing what they are for their families and sons.  It's a nice sentiment, but we got it the first time someone said it.  I don't need a reminder every 10 minutes.  Even if I snuck out to the bathroom the first time someone said it, I can figure it out because this is not a movie about subtlety and nuance.
Plus, Snitch gets a little too melodramatic, and needs more of a natural building up to several mini-climaxes and high points through the movie.  Emotionally, it kind of stays on the same, flat path.  

Snitch is not full redemption for The Rock starring in The Tooth Fairy, but it is much less embarrassing than wearing a Tutu. 


2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Snitch is rated PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence