'Snitch' - dull and tedious

Film: "Snitch"; Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Rafi Gavron, Michael K. Williams, Melina Kanakaredes and Nadine Valazquez; Director: Ric Roman Waugh; Rating: *1/2

"Snitch" starts off as a social drama and turns into a crime thriller. It is a lengthy, talky melodrama into which a couple of skilled stunt sequences are crammed.

Based on true events, "Snitch" is the story of how John Mathews (Dwayne Johnson), a small business owner in the construction trade takes great risk in a desperate attempt to save his college bound son, Jason (Rafi Gavron) from being wasted in prison after his son's close friend Craig snitches on him.

The reason why John does this is because he believes his son did a "dumb naive mistake". And he wants to fight against the unfairness of the mandatory 10-year sentence for possessing drugs in sufficient quantity to be peddled.

The federal prosecutor Joanne Keegan (Susan Sarandon) refuses to budge on mandatory minimum sentencing unless she can obtain more convictions out of it and since Jason truly does not know anyone in the business. John goes as an undercover himself and touches base with Daniel James (Jon Bernthal), an ex-convict employee and goes about ingratiating himself with the criminal element in order to pay it forward, judicially speaking.

Literally and figuratively, the best scene in "Snitch" is the last one! Where a battered John along with his entire family awaits Jason's release, the father-son bonding at the end surely moves you. But to watch the entire journey that Senior Mathews goes through, is rather painful and torturous. The narration is more dull than dynamic; filled with cliched scenes of parents blaming each other for missed opportunities and misguided priorities, as well as the ex-convicts arguing over their newfound route along the road to the straight and narrow and most of all, watching the entire film in a darkly lit screen.

Visually, the movie is all over the place. While Waugh allows us full, loving glimpses of John's car, or the action-filled automobile stunts, when it comes to people having deep, painful conversations, we get fractions of faces. When John owns up to what an absent dad he's been to Jason, in an emotional talk over the prison telephones, we see mostly backs of heads. There is some hand-held camera work, but only at precisely the moment when there's action you might want a decent look at. Things we don't need to see, like John looking through old job applications to find someone who checked the felony conviction box, get far too much attention. And then there are the prop and costume cliches.

The bad guy clutches a rosary. Daniel puts up his hoodie whenever he's feeling criminal. During a visit to Daniel's apartment, the dialogue takes a back seat to car alarms and police sirens. The picture of the underworld and its labyrinthine connections is straight out of a hundred other movies. Worse, everything is so convenient. In his quest for gritty authenticity, Waugh has fussed over the details which are not seamy, they are silly.

As for the acting, Johnson does not steal the show from anyone since there is no character strong enough to combat him.

Those expecting a non-stop rollercoaster ride of cheap thrills and shrills look out for other alternatives.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • PETA claims victory for animal rights in demise of SeaWorld Trainer Barbie

    By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mattel Inc said on Friday it has ended production of its SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll, a move cheered by an animal rights group that has been a leading critic of SeaWorld for its treatment of killer whales. Mattel spokesman Alex Clark said production of the doll ended when a licence agreement with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment expired last year. SeaWorld, which operates parks in San Diego, San Antonio, and Orlando, Florida, has seen other …

  • Pop star Justin Bieber settles lawsuit with Florida photographer
    Pop star Justin Bieber settles lawsuit with Florida photographer

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A lawsuit against pop star Justin Bieber over an incident involving a photographer in Miami has been resolved, according to attorneys. A lawyer for photographer Jeffrey Binion declined to comment further and wouldn't say when the agreement was reached or if it involved a financial settlement. The lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade County circuit court, dates back to a 2013 run-in between Binion and Bieber outside a Miami-area recording studio. Binion claimed …

  • German ambassador, Saif Ali Khan launch 'Kal ho naa ho' song remake

    New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) German ambassador Michael Steiner along with actor Saif Ali Khan, his mother, Sharmila Tagore, and Javed Akhtar launched a remake of the famous music video "Kal ho naa ho" featuring Steiner's wife, Eliese, former foreign minister Salman Khurshid and the ambassador himself. The project titled "Lebe jetzt!", which means "Kal ho na ho" in German, was launched on Friday at the German embassy here. Karan Johar, who directed the film "Kal Ho Naa Ho", and Sonu Nigam, who …

  • Ensemble cast numbs pain of life in 'Anesthesia' at Tribeca
    Ensemble cast numbs pain of life in 'Anesthesia' at Tribeca

    By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - An ensemble cast led by actors Sam Waterston, Glenn Close and Kristen Stewart numb themselves to the challenges and disappointments of life in "Anesthesia," an indie drama about how a violent act connects the lives of disparate people. The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this week and is set in New York City, shows the pain and loneliness of some of the city's occupants. Waterston is the kind, gentle Columbia University philosophy …

  • Red legacy of Victorian novelist still defines British streets

    By Robert Cole LONDON (Reuters) - Anthony Trollope is best known as a British novelist whose chronicles of the minor dramas, snubs and triumphs of Victorian country life still win readers worldwide. Trollope, courtesy of his day job in the 19th century Post Office, was responsible for giving Britain its bright red post boxes. Royal Mail, the stock exchange-listed postal operator, is legally obliged to operate at least one post box within half a mile (just under a kilometre) of 98 percent of …

  • Hunt for ancient royal tomb in Mexico takes mercurial twist

    By David Alire Garcia TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico (Reuters) - A Mexican archeologist hunting for a royal tomb in a deep, dark tunnel beneath a towering pre-Aztec pyramid has made a discovery that may have brought him a step closer: liquid mercury. In the bowels of Teotihuacan, a mysterious ancient city that was once the largest in the Americas, Sergio Gomez this month found "large quantities" of the silvery metal in a chamber at the end of a sacred tunnel sealed for nearly 1,800 years. "It's …

  • Pia Sukanya: Radhika Apte is very instinctive and you believe everything she does
    Pia Sukanya: Radhika Apte is very instinctive and you believe everything she does

    Debutante director Pia Sukanya is gungho about her first film, BOMBAIRIYA starring Radhika Apte …

  • Remo D'Souza: ABCD 2 is based on a true incident of Fictitious group from Nalasopara
    Remo D'Souza: ABCD 2 is based on a true incident of Fictitious group from Nalasopara

    Unlike ABCD ANYBODY CAN DANCE, Remo DSouzas upcoming 3D dance film ABCD 2 is based on a real story …

Loading...