“Snitch” Entertains, But Doesn’t Dazzle
By Brian Duskey
February 25, 2013
The object of a film isn’t always to be a gripping, raw, emotional masterpiece. Sometimes they just want to entertain the audience.
In the case of the action-thriller “Snitch,” that is exactly the case.
There is an old theory saying that, no matter what you think of the film, if the movie accomplishes what they set out to accomplish, it is then a successful film.
“The Snitch” is never trying to be a strong narrative with a deeper meaning to it. It’s really just trying to entertain movie-goers in an old-fashioned way, and because of that, it actually becomes one of the bigger surprises of the winter season.
The film follows John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), a father whose son has been imprisoned for being set up in a drug scam. John knows that his son is an innocent man and is willing to do anything to set him free.
He works out a deal with the DA (Susan Sarandon) to be able to work as an informant. Basically, the deal is that if he can get information on the top drug-lord that was behind the scam towards his son, then they will set his son free.
The story itself is pretty basic and not really complicated. That is a good thing and a bad thing in different situations.
In some cases, it works well because they don’t try to overcomplicate the story and throw in random subplots to create intrigue.
In other cases, the story can be a little too simple and lack an extra set of complexion.
The film is pretty much carried by Dwayne Johnson. It’s probably his best acting that he has put forth in his career. There aren’t any scenes where he grabs you, but he is very convincing and you do feel for his situation. It also is the first time where he is playing a character that isn’t feared. Instead, he is the one living in fear. This creates some solid drama.
He definitely shows potential to move on to a solid acting career, if he can be paired with the right script and proper director.
Saying that Johnson carries the film is not an understatement. His performance and the intensity that he brings to the character is really all that stands out.
The directing wasn’t anything special. There were no huge mistakes in the film, but there also wasn’t anything that stood out. The pacing of the film wasn’t unsteady, but it could have been pushed a little higher.
The cinematography and lighting were actually pretty weak. A lot of the scenes were very low lit, when they probably shouldn’t have been. There also wasn’t anything dazzling about the camerawork or framing. It could have gone through a major adjustment. Not a real strong effort from the cinematographer.
As stated, the film works for what it is. It’s entertaining, much more entertaining than expected, but basic writing and poor technical specifications of the film ended up holding it back from being anything truly special.
It wouldn’t be a terrible decision to go see this film in the theater this weekend, but it’s not really the end of the world if you miss it either.