Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Snitch (2013)

So I kinda thought this was your typical Dwayne Johnson action vehicle, judging by the menacing poster for the film you'd be forgiven for agreeing with me. The Rock standing there fists clenched, looking angry, sweaty and buff, whilst in the background a large rig is powering through cars causing mayhem and destruction. Its all true but that particular moment of excitement isn't until the finale, before that you gotta sit through a whole load of factory line guff.

So Johnson's teenage kid is wrongfully banged away as a drug dealer (a set up) and his only way out is to stitch up another drug dealer hence the films witty title. Of course the dumbass kid won't play ball so its up to Dwayne to go out and bring down a huge cartel all on his own. Myself? meh I would have let the kid rot.

Now as I already mentioned you assume this is gonna be an ass kicking flick with Johnson in revenge overdrive mode but no!!. Against cast Johnson is actually playing a regular Joe here, a father who doesn't kick ass but actually is rather meek, timid and other words he gets his ass kicked, despite looking like the offspring of The Hulk and He-Man (seriously he couldn't throw any punches at all?!). This time Dwayne Johnson is actually using his real acting chops and his brains to get through this sticky cinematic problem.

The film is really really trying to be some kind of serious crime drama, the type of thing you'd see Pacino or De Niro in. The problem is the casting, why use Dwayne Johnson for a role like this? sure he does a reasonable job but you're just expecting him to snap everybody in half and break out some massive hand cannons. Its obvious Sarandon has been drafted in to inject some heavy weight acting but it fails to save the day, she ain't that good.

Everything is so very bland and generic here to be honest, the film only comes alive for a brief 18 wheeler, car chase sequence which while good is still totally generic. Up to that point its pretty low key with no intensity, no action, no interesting characters and a daft plot if you ask me. I don't know anything about US law but why would one persons jail time be reduced if someone else decides to help out the law by becoming an informer?. That just sounds like a very odd decision, this criminals friend/family member helped us bust this dealer so we will reduce his sentence out of thanks despite the fact he did actually commit a crime, eh?.

So what do we learn from this film? apparently in the US law abiding citizens can assist police in MAJOR drug busts to reduce some other criminals jail time. Terribly formulaic and by the numbers, there are attempts at strong emotion but it didn't work on me, it just reads like a checklist of cliches.