Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Movie Review: "Snitch"


Dwayne Johnson better known has The Rock, was thought of to be like another Arnold Schwarzenegger, a muscle bound action hero who acts tough and shouts out funny one liners. But then he did the movie Gridiron Gang(2006),and my opinion of him changed, he took a little departure from action films, and took a stab at drama, and he gave a pretty descent performance, and he showed that he can act.

 This is not a typical movie you would expect to see "The Rock" starring. In this movie D. Johnson shows he can actually act, and doesn't need to use his huge physical stature or muscles to do the talking. He doesn't have one scene where it is a fight scene. I was super impressed by how well "The Rock" handled a serious dramatic role, and hope there are more like this to come in future movies.

Snitch is the antithesis of the typical movie you would expect to find Johnson involved in. It has a slow pace, there is very little explosive action until the final sequence, and while the writing isn't particularly special (more on this in a minute), the story is definitely the driving force behind the film as opposed to any other element you typically get in a Johnson movie. Somehow, however, Johnson finds a groove within the world of Snitch that I really don't think he's hit in the past. He isn't trying to be humorous at all (always a plus in my opinion) but much more importantly, he's actually playing a character.

Johnson's filmography is filled with examples of characters who are just The Rock in a different costume. The Rock as a cop, The Rock as a bodybuilder, The Rock as a hockey player turned fairy tale entity (*cringe*). In Snitch, however, I actually felt like I was seeing a real person on screen rather than another raided-out persona. John Matthews is a dad, a blue-collar worker, and most of all, a man, and I don't believe I've ever seen that from Johnson before. Moreover, he's a man who is severely out of his depth in a world he doesn't understand or fit in and that comes through quite clearly. In short, there's very little of The Rock being The Rock and beating the snot out of bad guys because he's The Rock. And I quite like that change.

As it stands, Snitch is something like a half-finished project with some strong moments brought to life by Johnson that are surrounded by some incomplete thoughts that could have and should have been refined. Even still, it's a fine performance by Johnson and that alone makes it worth a viewing, a sentence I never thought I'd have occasion to write.


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