Movie Review: “Snitch” – Exploding Cars Are My Anti-Drug

Written by Tommy February 27, 2013

“Snitch” is decent. Hell, I might even say it’s kinda okay. It’s an ultra-ridiculous premise, and drags so hard that it ruins your perception of time and space, but it’s decently constructed. It’s a well put together film. Dwayne Johnson is mediocre and lifeless at times, but I think that deserves a gold start considering his origins. This is not a big, dumb action movie where stuff just happens to make you go, “oh cool.” This is a little more thoughtful than that, and I appreciate its attempt to make a narrative that is more complex than “Big Guy punches the Bad Guys.” That said, there’s a few fundamental problems that keep it from being the shocking look into the American drug scene that it could have been.

“Snitch” tells the story of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), the worlds most jacked business owner whose son gets arrested for possessing drugs, and, to save his son from a ludicrously large prison sentence, The Rock offers to help the police bust members of a drug cartel.

Winners Don’t Do Filler

First let’s start off with what I like about “Snitch”: it understands how films should be made. It would be all too tempting to have scenes where Dwayne breaks into a warehouse full of gangsters doing drug things, and start punching their faces open while generic rock music plays. This movie knows that you have to set up the action scenes to make sure they have impact. So when you actually get to the critical moments of the film, there’s a real sense of build up, and you genuinely want to know how this biz is gonna go down. I also really enjoyed the performance of Jon Bernthal as The Rock’s unwilling kinda sorta side kick. Heck, not only is he a better actor than Dwayne, but his character is much more compelling. They probably should have made the movie about him instead.

Come on, do the eyebrow! Come onnnnnnn!

Now there’s the problems. The biggest of which is how slow this movie is. Now, that’s not saying that it should have been action all over kaboom kapow, as I stated before I can appreciate a movie that takes its time. This thing though, this thing takes all the time. There’s no time left. Anywhere. Dwayne Johnson took it. Remember how I said there’s a lot of setup? Well, there’s a lot of setup. They build up this one specific encounter for about the entire first half of the movie, and you feel like “man, this has to be the climax!” then when it finally happens… nothing much happens. Then they start building up for this other encounter and the whole process starts over again. I was gonna say that this movie was too long, but then when I went to confirm the length I saw that it’s only barely over an hour and a half! The only way this thing could have been drawn out more is if the theater was rigged to move at the speed of light, extending The Rock’s plight into infinity.

Should have starred Ravishing Rick Rude instead

The other big problem is Dwayne. Why is he in this movie? This is not a movie that demanded a hulking, intimidating lead actor. This is supposed to be about an every-man father who does something extraordinary. Dwayne Johnson is not every-man. He’s not even some-man. Why didn’t they cast someone who was… you know… good? Dwayne Johnson really cares about drug laws I guess.

There’s also the issue with how dumb the plot is. It starts off fairly reasonable, if outlandish, with Dwayne doing the whole “try to lure drug dealer into a trap” kind of thing. Then half way through it takes off for crazy town, and Dwayne turns into the Hollywood action star you would have expected the whole time. It’s kind of like halfway through they went, “Crap! We need awesome action scenes for the trailer! Somebody tie fireworks to that car and flip it over!” The movie starts off taking itself and its subject matter fairly seriously, but it loses sight of that by the end and becomes just plain dumb.

“Snitch” means well, it really does. It knows what good films are supposed to do, and tries to emulate that. It just doesn’t know what it wants to be. Even though I thought it was sort of well made movie, I’m not sure I can recommend it. People who want to see The Rock punch people will leave bored to tears, and people who wanted a serious crime drama will be intellectually unfulfilled. “Snitch” is a movie for nobody.

My Rating: 6/10


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What a Cool Guy.

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