In this film, loosely based on a true story, he plays a father whose teenage son is imprisoned for a first-time drug offense; the overly-harsh sentence is designed to help authorities cut deals with minor offenders to bring down drug dealers. There's just one problem; Johnson's son doesn't know any drug dealers and is too innocent and good-hearted to survive long in prison. Teaming with an opportunistic politician (Susan Sarandon), a grizzled FBI agent (Barry Pepper), and a family-man ex-con (Jon Bernthal), Johnson goes undercover to save his son from prison by bringing down some “big fish” with ties to powerful Mexican cartels.
Though its a bit of a stretch to cast the physically imposing Johnson as a vulnerable every-man (in a couple of scenes he's bullied by people he could easily mop the floor with), his performance is solid and goes a long way towards establishing credibility. The acting all across the board is a particular strength of the film, as is the smart screenplay which wisely takes its time allowing audiences to connect with all of the key characters, ensuring that when the action finally happens it's fraught with genuine tension. Though Snitch is at times predictable, it's emotionally engaging and provides a smart examination of the injustice of minimum mandatory sentencing laws. If you've previously viewed Dwayne Johnson as a mindless muscle-head, give Snitch a look. He does well in a different kind of role and he just may surprise you.
CONTENT OVERVIEW: Snitch is rated PG-13. It has some moderate profanity and violence (fights and shootouts with a little blood). Sexuality/nudity is not an issue with this film. Under coercion a man sniffs a line of illegal drugs to maintain his cover and save his life.
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: Unjust laws corrode society and must be resisted (Helaman 5:2-4). Organized crime works in secret to destroy all that is good (Helaman 2:3-5). Fathers ought to have mercy on, teach, and delight in their children (Psalms 103:13; Proverbs 3:12). It takes courage to lay one's life on the line for those they love and for what's right (John 15:13). Visiting people in prison is a form of Christ-like love (Matthew 25:34-40).