I’m supposed to be writing a review for "Snitch," the latest action thriller starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, but there’s only one thing on my mind: a beard.
The tuft of hair belongs to Barry Pepper's chin, and it is admittedly mesmerizing. It’s a grungy-looking goatee that hangs two or three inches off Pepper’s face and sharpens into a point. Every camera angle provides some new fascinating detail, and even when it seems the beard has worn out its welcome, Pepper ties it into a tight little ponytail for variety’s sake.
Pepper’s mangy Van Dyke beard would be more at home in something like "True Grit" or "The Road." I’m more than thankful, however, that writer/director Ric Roman Waugh thought it was necessary because it’s one of the only interesting things "Snitch" has to offer. Everything else is dull, drab and surprisingly preachy.
Johnson plays John Matthews, the ridiculously buff owner of a construction supply business and an all-around good guy. His fairly calm life takes a turn for the worse when his son Jason (Rafi Gavron) is mistakenly arrested in a drug sting with his friend’s drugs and faces at least 10 years in prison thanks to the mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
The police offer to shorten Jason’s sentence if he helps them set up and arrest another dealer, but since he’s not an actual dealer and not even really a user, he has no one to turn in. Plus, he doesn’t want to set up an innocent guy – like his friend did to him.
While Jason languishes in prison, Matthews volunteers to do the snitching in the place of his son. The election-minded U.S. Attorney (Susan Sarandon) takes the deal, and Matthews plots to entrap a local dealer (Michael K. Williams, Omar from "The Wire") with the reluctant help of one of his ex-con workers (Joe Bernthal from "The Walking Dead").
The desperate dad’s plan might be too good, however, as he gets deep enough to start doing favors for a dangerous kingpin (Benjamin Bratt).
Much of "Snitch"…Read more...