There are a number of laws in the US that are set up to further the careers of politicians, to fight wars against drugs and sometimes these laws snare first time offenders in their nets and place them in the grinder that is the justice system.
Snitch is based on true events, a father goes undercover for the DEA when his son, with no real criminal ties is facing a ten year jail sentence for accepting a package of drugs from a friend. With no one to sell out to reduce his sentence, the boy finds himself behind bars and a father that would do anything to ensure the safety of his son sets out to reduce the boys sentence.
Finding himself thrown deeper and deeper into the world of drugs through his own investigation and that of the local governor (Susan Sarandon), John Matthews (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) is not only fighting for his sons life but his own as the Cartel become involved.
When you first sign up to "Snitch" you'll see the poster and think "ACTION MOVIE MAYHEM!", not so, Snitch is a statement on the unjust and politically motivated system that people fall in to through silly mistakes such as 'favours for a friend'. Now accepting a kilo of drugs from a buddy is a bloody stupid thing to do but when it gets you a ten year sentence and a daily game of drop the soap, then perhaps something is wrong with the system at large.
Snitch wants to be 'The Exonerated' of its time, it wants to highlight the laws that have unintentional victims like the Matthews family. It does just that but while Dwayne Johnson has proven himself to be a very talented man, in a role that demands such a dramatic lead, it needed someone with a little less bulk. A confident business man who doesn't look like he could disarm an army with a sneeze. That's the one thing Snitch has going against it; The Rock and it's really not his fault because he is a great addition to the cast but for the message and subject matter of the film, perhaps he wasn't best placed in the role of John Matthews as there was always something telling us, if the shit hit the fan this man could run through a wall to freedom. I never felt like John Matthews was ever going to be in any real danger. Even when faced with a drug cartel and a mini arsenal of weapons!
That's the problem with the film as a whole, you go in expecting action which you do get but the main focus is the drama and the characters. So you're already in the wrong mind set when entering the cinema. There's no denying that Snitch has it's merits even if Dwayne Johnson is in the wrong role, he does a terrific job as the father figure. Susan Sarandon makes an appearance as a ladder climbing political figure who isn't as hard nosed as she seems. There's a huge array of famous faces here including Melina Kanakaredes from CSI: NY and Jon Bernthal from The Walking Dead.
Each plays a key part in bringing this story to life. Although a watchable and enjoyable film it's just a shame that Director Ric Roman Waugh couldn't really balance the drama with the action in a way that punctuates the message that was trying to be told!
There is room for a film like Snitch in cinema today as long as it can walk the fine line of delivering its message and delivering an entertaining run time but the danger and suspense just isn't there due to Dwayne Johnson's presence in the film. The man looks like he's made of steel and any apparent danger could be waved off with a giant hand. I liked it, I really did and The Rock was great but his psysique just took away any real element of danger that was supposedly a constant throughout.