'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.

Latest News

  • Earth Hour an attempt to connect with common man: Arjun Kapoor

    New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The Earth Hour, which was observed starting 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, was a reminder to the common man to take time out from busy schedules for the cause of electricity conservation, says Bollywood actor and youth icon Arjun Kapoor, the brand ambassador for the annual activity since two years. The Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is a global movement uniting people to protect the planet. Last year, Delhi is said to have saved around 250 MW during Earth Hour. The …

  • AIFW: Designers bring on wild, military inspired fashion

    New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The fourth day of the ongoing Amazon India Fashion Week here saw a glimpse of two different worlds through the collection of designer Pia Pauro and a range by designer trio Viral, Ashish and Vikrant. Pauro's collection drew inspiration from the savannah and the 'Burning Man' music festival. Pauro terms her collection as "easy and breezy". "The inspiration behind my collection is wild savannah and a music festival Burning Man, which is held in California. …

  • Praise from John Madden gives Tina 'terrific boost'

    Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Starring in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" itself was a privilege for actress Tina Desai, but getting praised by its director John Madden has made her Hollywood stint even sweeter for her. "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", a sequel to the 2012 film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", featured a cast including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere, Lillete Dubey and British actor of Indian descent Dev Patel, apart from Tina. …

  • Ritesh Batra gets innovative to revive Mumbai's Irani cafes

    Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) "The Lunchbox" fame director Ritesh Batra is trying to revive Mumbai's Irani cafes with a series of events at select spots in the city. The first two sessions were held at Koolar Cafe and Kyani Bakery, while the third session - a candid chat with casting directors Atul Mongia and Seher Latif - was held on Friday at Excelsior Cafe. "My objective is to reinvent these cafes as cultural spaces to exchange ideas. It's very heartening to see full house at these events," …

  • Vidhu Vinod to host 'Broken Horses' screening for B-Town directors

    Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) A host of veteran and young Bollywood directors are likely to attend a special screening of Indian filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Hollywood project "Broken Horses" here on Monday. Chopra is hosting the screening of his maiden Hollywood venture, and it will be attended by the likes of Ramesh Sippy, Pradeep Sarkar, Sudhir Mishra, Sriram Raghavan, Abhishek Kapoor, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Subhash Kapoor, Bejoy Nambiar and Nikhil Advani to name a …

  • Day 3 Of Fashion, Fabrics and Fashionistas!

    New Delhi, Mar. 28 (ANI): The 3rd day of ongoing Amazon India Fashion Week 2015 began with designer Paromita Banerjee's Up-Cycled Boro Collection. …

  • Post 'Bigg Boss', Gautam Gulati finds time management tough

    Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Determined to ensure that his "Bigg Boss 8" victory doesn't go to waste, Gautam Gulati is making an all-out effort to market his popularity in every conceivable way including films. Now Gautam has a marketing team on board, and yet there is a lot of strain. After 'Bigg Boss', I am recognised and treated well. "In one, I play a conman, and in the other I am a film director." Beyond these details, Gautam is not willing to talk about his film projects yet. …

  • Big actors refused my film due to Sunny Leone: Bobby Khan

    Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) Filmmaker Bobby Khan, who roped in Sunny Leone for his movie "Ek Paheli Leela", says many known actors refused to work in it because of the presence of the Indo-Canadian adult film star. Khan told IANS: "Many big actors and known faces were approached for the film. They loved the script, but they refused it because Sunny belongs from the porn industry. It was very sad that many actors refused to do this film." After working with Sunny, Khan vouches for her …

Loading...