Snitch (2013) - Ric Roman Waugh
John Matthews is a self-made man whose construction company lets him live a pretty nice lifestyle. All that changes when his teenage son is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime which sees a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Desperate to free his son he makes a deal with the U.S. attorney to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate one of the largest drug cartels. Ric Roman Waugh's Snitch is a fast-paced thriller that surprisingly works, given its somewhat hard to believe premise. Snitch is a social statement dressed as an action movie that makes sure to capture the absolutely ridiculous drug laws taking place in the United States. The way John's son is arrested and put away for 10 years regardless of this being a first offense are on full display, showing how how his son is a good-natured boy. Through Susan Sarandon's attorney character we see the circular motion of the war on drugs and how it's used more as a promotional resource for re-election than anything else. Granted, this commentary could have certainly been done better but any mainstream film that brings these things to the surface deserves some kudos. The emotional weight of the story is pretty easy to relate too, with Dwayne Johnson once again showing a likeability and charisma that one can't teach. The character Daniel Cruz, a man who helps introduce John to the drug world, plays a very important role. Without Daniel, the film dances dangerously close to only showing one-side of the drug problem (rich people problems), but with him, we see a man who is trying to break free of his old life and make a better one for his family. The parallel's between both John Matthews and Daniel Cruz are the strongest aspect of the film, with each doing what they believe is best for their respective families. Stronger is not the smartest film to tackle the war on drugs, even being pretty damn silly at times, but it's fast-paced, engaging, and attempts to show a major problem in our criminal system - the first offender drug laws.
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