By Lorraine Viade, Psy.D.
Snitch is one of those B movies suitable for a matinee at the dollar theater. It doesn’t offer much in the way of complexity or award-winning acting, but has some good action moments and a cautionary tale for those who have teenagers and young adults living at home. Be mindful of who and what comes into or out of your house, including the mail and special delivery packages.
The story is that of a divorced tough guy played by Dwayne Johnson as a father who is not as close to his estranged son as he might have been. He has a new family to worry about, along with a thriving business. Seems like the usual suburbia family until a delivery arrives at the ex-wife’s house, filled with trouble for everyone.
Things go south and the kid from the first marriage winds up in prison, facing a lot of hard time. The kid refuses to drop a dime or snitch on a friend, even the one who set him up. He won’t do to another what was done to him. Now, that is a golden rule. After some stark realizations that things might be different if he had been around more, dad shifts focus from blame to responsibility and he becomes a different sort of rock, offering support and wanting to take on and fix the situation in order to prevent a great injustice.
Now we all know that those sorts of deals don’t come into everyone’s life, so let’s be mindful that this is drama after all. Personal and professional integrity, character, and standing firm on principal are the lessons here. Everybody learns something, including a bad-guy-turned-good who agrees to help out in a scheme to turn in a much bigger fish in exchange for the gullible teen. Now compared to the drug lords I have seen on TV, these guys were pretty mild, I guess I just could not buy into Benjamin Bratt on the other side of law and order.
The film was based on an actual case and the point made is that the sentences for drug trafficking are extreme; most likely because of all the money to be made from it. Susan Sarandon plays a US attorney with a name to be made in the exchange. Happy endings and loose ends are neatly tied up just the way we like them. Snitch made me wonder how many fathers would have offered to take the heat for their kid the way this one did. I will say that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is building a solid foundation for his career, surrounding himself with good casts and vehicles that let him get better and better over time.
I give Snitch three couches.