Snitch portrays The Rock at his most soft. A surprisingly decent movie was the result. However, the film is based on a true story and because of that I think numerous glaring reality checks are hard to ignore.
The story arc revolves around the Dwayne Johnson character—obviously. He operates a successful trucking business, owns a nice home and raises a lovely suburban family. This is his new and improved life. Prior to this, it seems he had another family that was far less financially stable and emotionally rocky. His son from this first marriage grew up without a father and turned down some shady paths but not irreconcilably so. The kid gets caught receiving a bag of MDMA in the mail which he claims he just was holding for a friend and had no intent to sell. This fiend of a friend snitched on him to reduce his jail time. Even though this was a first time offense he could get 10 years prison time. The Rock will have none of that! The only way to reduce sentencing is to 'give up' other dealers. His son doesn't actually know any and wouldn't give them up if he did. So Dwayne decides to help the police catch a criminal if it will reduce his sons sentence.
I have a hard time believing that you, as a citizen, could do this if you wanted to. Regardless, he takes vigilantism into his own hands, becomes embroiled in the narcotic world and offers his trucking services to transport the drugs. Dwayne uses Shane from The Walking Dead as his partner and introducer to the cartel lord, cool glasses Benjamin Bratt. Some shots are fired and heightened drama takes place. Crazy beard Barry Pepper and super bitch Susan Sarandon show up as the narcotics cop and district attorney respectively.
What bugs me about the film was the rather nonchalant attitude toward the seriousness of the role Johnson took. Maybe this is reality. Maybe one cop and one district attorney can sign off on these dangerous, illicit, pedestrian actions but I highly doubt it. The story feels a bit off kilter in this manner throughout—just very hard to believe. Yet the film is engaging and likable. The Rock is not his usual self—quiet, subdued and concerned like a real father. This isn't really an action movie either minus two short sequences. The first one being troubling because the semi is front and center in a major gun fight and only gets hit twice! Anyway, This is more of a quiet father son story that will somehow keep your attention. At once a poorly directed, then well directed film, it's a hard one to classify. But I'll take a chance and recommend it anyway. I was struck while watching Snitch how similar the careers of The Rock and Swartzenegger have been in their own distinctive way. Dwanye Johnson's marketing team is a smart bunch.
Recommended Viewing: The Rundown - Walking Tall - Fast Five
Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.0 - The Fan: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 54