Commentary
5:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Movie Review: Snitch

What with all the recent gabble about Academy Awards and all, it may seem a little trivial to talk about a little movie like Snitch.

But Snitch is a quite likeable little thriller with no pretensions to being anything more-- maybe because it would be useless to get pretentious about a movie starring Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler-turned-action star. But Dwayne Johnson is fully good enough an actor for thriller movies and is an interesting physical specimen. With his massive body and almost delicate facial features, he's like a muscle bound Tyrone Power, if you remember back that far.

Johnson plays a father whose son has been lured into the drug business and who is determined to get him out-- interestingly, partly by luring somebody else into the drug business, repeating exactly the same crime he is setting out to avenge.

Nobody involved in Snitch seems to have noticed a problem here, neither writer-director Ric Roman Waugh, nor Susan Sarandon as the federal drug prosecutor with political ambitions, nor Barry Pepper as the principal investigator, nor John Bernthal as the man Johnson corrupts, nor, obviously, Johnson himself, who probably wouldn't care because all he's interested in is his son.

Drugs are so poisonous in Snitch that anybody who gets involved in them is destroyed morally and is lucky to survive physically. Despite a lot of gloriously reckless driving, often involving trucks the size of short railroad trains, there is nothing glamorous about Snitch or anybody in it. It isn't even clear that we should disapprove of Sarandon's politics, which is no more cynical than anything else.

The plot holds together as well as thriller plots do, there is plenty of action and, all in all, Snitch is an evening's entertainment for those who seek nothing more.