Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Fast Five”) has only given an impressive performance in the 2003 action-comedy “The Rundown,” a bizarre, funny film that stands out among his most recent work. That is, until his newest role in “Snitch.”
Johnson plays John Matthews a former-divorcee, and remarried man who runs a small-time construction company. His son Jason (Rafi Gavron “The Cold Light of Day”) is being charged with the distribution of drugs. Jason is, of course, being set up by one of his own friends to reduce his own sentence after being caught. Matthews feels guilty for his son due to emotionally abandoning Jason, and upon learning that Jason might be killed before he finishes his prison sentence, Matthews sets up a deal with slimy District Attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon “Cloud Atlas”). The deal is simple, Matthews gets the dirt on drug dealers, and Jason gets his sentence reduced. There’s little supervision, no back-up and the rest can be predicted simply from viewing the trailer.
The movie does have elements that make it worth viewing; you get to see Michael Kenneth Williams (“Brooklyn’s Finest”) play a two-strike loser of a drug dealer named Malik, a role he brings a great deal of swagger and attitude to. Sarandon doesn’t disappoint either. Johnson performs his role adequately, but it might not be worth the money to just go see an “adequate” film. If you want an action-packed thrill ride, this isn’t your movie; go see a movie in the summer with more explosions. If you want a good legal drama about the futility of the war on drugs, this isn’t your movie either. If you want a good movie with Johnson, go watch “The Rundown.” “Snitch” is not art, but it at least has the good courtesy to entertain thoroughly rather than just adequately.