Opening 6 Jun 2013
A naïve teenager (Rafi Gavron) unwittingly accepts a delivery of ecstasy pills for a friend, gets caught, and is looking at a 10-year jail sentence for this first time offence. He refuses to help himself by implicating or entrapping anybody else. His father (Dwayne Johnson) – determined to get his son’s sentence reduced – enters into an unusual deal with U.S. Attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon): he will help facilitate the conviction of an important drug kingpin instead.
The script is “inspired by real events”. What makes it interesting is a new angle on the action thriller genre. Though there is no lack of suspenseful action scenes directed by stuntman turned director Ric Roman Waugh, it puts the spotlight on how the mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the U.S. are applied with questionable results, and how drug trafficking defendants may be coerced to take part in dangerous sting operations. (See www.snitch-movie.com/infographics for some insights on the subject). In a performance without depth, Dwayne Johnson doesn’t ‘connect’ with his co-stars and doesn’t seem to belong, while Jon Bernthal is convincing as his reluctant collaborator Daniel and Barry Pepper does a fine job as Agent Cooper. (Carola A)