Stuntman-turned-director Ric Roman Waugh gets his first wide release with Snitch, an appallingly titled movie that attempts to prove The Rock — Dwayne Johnson, if you insist — can act, while maintaining the sort of material that will appeal to his target audience. I haven’t decided whether Mr. Waugh is actually on a fool’s errand or merely charged with a thankless task, but the film doesn’t really work in either intended capacity. As action, the film is pretty weak tea — and with more obvious CGI than I might expect with a stuntman in the director’s chair. It probably doesn’t help matters that Snitch is a fact-inspired movie that wants to outrage the viewer about the unfairness of the mandatory 10 year sentence for possessing drugs with intent to sell. That is what construction company owner John Matthews (Johnson) finds himself up against when his very un-Rock-like son, Jason (Rafi Gavron), becomes innocently (of course) involved in a drug deal. He also finds himself up against his son’s refusual to rat out any of his friends by way of bargaining leverage, and even worse there’s tough-as-nails conservative U.S, attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) to deal with. What’s a dad to do? Well, go undercover himself and hand the DEA some big fish to fry. With preposterous ease, he manages to do just that — putting himself and his new family (Jason being from a previous marriage) at great risk. However, since Jason is always a little more battered and bruised (thanks to unconvincing make-up) every time he visits him, a manly man just has to do what a manly man has to do. It all follows the exact template you expect and is frankly pretty darn dull and way too long.
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