Snitch is a Surprisingly Good Film

I am not a fan of The Rock, and I am not a fan of Dwayne Johnson. I can never take him seriously as an actor. But I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal and have always been impressed by his performances. Bernthal is what got me to sit down and what Snitch. I was glad I did.

Snitch is the story of a father who must do something unthinkable to save his son from prison. His son was on the receiving end of a drug deal gone badly. Because he had no one to tell on, the son has to go to prison for a minimum of 10 years. John (Johnson) strikes a deal with the DA; he will help them bust a local seller and they will reduce his son’s sentence.

John approaches one of his construction workers who have a history of selling narcotics. But Daniel (Bernthal) is trying to keep his nose clean and stay out of the business. When John offers him a large chunk of change for an introduction, Daniel reluctantly agrees. Daniel unfortunately is sucked into John’s transactions and has no idea that John is working for the police. The simple drug transports gets complicated when a cartel contact becomes involved and the DA set her sights on him.

While the movie has been labeled by some as an action movie, it is more of a drama with some action thrown in. The film is character centric and really focuses on fathers’ love for their family. Both John and Daniel are struggling to take care of their sons, one whose son is in prison and the other trying to keep his son off the street. It is their character growth that really fuels the movie.

Johnson proves that he can actually act. Instead of the fake bravado from his wrestling or Fast and Furious persona, Johnson develops with the character showing toughness but also vulnerability and real emotion. He was able to carry the movie and make you care about his character.

Jon-Bernthal-SnitchWith that being said, the best performance comes from Bernthal. You feel the most for Daniel because he is pawn in this game. Bernthal captures in the inner turmoil of a man who wants the best for his family while trying to be a better person. Like any role he tackles, Bernthal becomes the character completely capturing the motivation and emotions of the role you are watching.

The movie is surprisingly deep. It brushes the surface of the controversy of the mandatory drug laws without becoming preachy. It also characterizes the overly ambitious tendency of some DAs with the war on drugs. It gives a truthful look the violence rife in the drug trade. But the main focus is the desire for fathers to take care of their sons and the plot stays centralized around this theme.

Snitch is a moving drama set within the intense world of the drug trade. Powerful performance by Dwayne Johnson and Jon Bernthal make the movie more than just some action thriller. Snitch is actually a fantastic film.