It’s Friday and everyone’s looking for something to get into. Why not catch the Flick “Snitch” which premieres today in theatres nationwide. This is a B-movie thriller starring Duane Johnson (you know WWE’s “The Rock”) built around a real incident that’s meant to show us the lunacy of our government’s drug policy. Unlike a lot of gritty action movies, it’s got a brain and some real feelings behind it.
The movie stars Johnson as John Matthews, a regular guy who owns his own construction company. He’s living the American dream…you know…the wife…the kids…the solid career. His life gets interrupted when he gets a call from his ex-wife that their son Jason (Rafi Gavron) has been arrested by the Feds for accepting a delivery from one of his buddies that contained ecstasy. Because of the U.S.’s mandatory-minimum laws, Jason will automatically receive a 10-year jail sentence, even though the kid isn’t involved with drugs or dealing. Hoping to get leniency for his son, John(played by Johnson) visits a U.S. Attorney (Susan Sarandon), who will grant Jason a lighter sentence if John can help the government bust other drug dealers.
Although director and co-writer Ric Roman goes his own way with it, the movie underlines the madness of a policy that levies huge penalties against anyone involved in drugs (even if they’re only partially connected) in the hopes that they’ll be desperate enough to assist the feds in rounding up other dealers while still bringing about a compassionate and angry sense of how deeply unfair American society is…whether we’re talking its drug policy or class system.
Eventually, Snitch becomes the action flick you assumed it would be, full of car chases and shootouts. But even then, Waugh stays mindful of the human element, reminding us of all the real lives ruined either by drugs or by a U.S. policy that overreacts to the problem.
Will you be grabbing your tickets and popcorn? Sound off.