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DIRECTOR: Ric Roman Waugh
CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, John Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi Gavron, Melina Kanakaredes and Benjamin Bratt
RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes
Dwayne Johnson (pictured) has done all the film roles a man his size should. From his explosive role in Walking Tall to the silly The Tooth Fairy titles and everything in between, The Rock, as he is known in wrestling circles, has been there, done that.
If you have seen most of his movies then you’ll be expecting to see a certain side to him in Snitch.
You can already see the plot having something to do with a jail, secrets, someone handing over valuable information to the law and probably getting into trouble for it.
It is all too predictable, but what you can’t predict is where The Rock fits into all of this. The big man can’t be the snitch because snitches are always portrayed as weaklings who need some form of protection. If you are thinking along those lines, you are on to something.
The writer has used Johnson’s 120kg frame to play John Matthews, a father who has to protect his son Jason (Gavron) after he was caught in possession of drugs.
In a typical Mufasa and Simba relationship, father and son are very close and the parent will do anything to protect his offspring. To get off the hook, Jason has to name the source of the drugs.
Since he is now in jail and the incident was a set up, his father has to leave his posh lifestyle and immerse himself in the world of underground crime to try and trace the source of his son’s troubles.
Granted, the story will grab you from the first few frames as you are worried about Jason’s welfare in prison. If you are a big Johnson fan you will expect him to be in Rambo-mode but, sadly, that’s not the case.
He’s not going to blow stuff up, or fire big guns like he usually does. In fact, at some point Johnson gets jumped and beaten up by a dude a third of his size. And no, the kid has no martial art skills. It then occurs to you that the writers have deliberately shied away from Johnson’s usual roles and made him something of a helpless father.
This doesn’t work because Johnson is menacing and doesn’t capture the victim role well. I would have cast Robin Williams or someone more fickle so that when they play the “worried dad” they would be believable. A few gunshots here and there do not rectify this.
If you liked Get the Gringo and The Rundown you will like this.