Wrestler wins in role KO

Snitch fea­tures Dwayne John­son’s low-key charisma, writes Moira Mac­Don­ald

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

LIKE Taken, which warned par­ents their Europe-bound daugh­ters just might end up as sex slaves re­quir­ing Liam Nee­son to save them, Snitch is a public­ser­vice an­nounce­ment of sorts.

This time, we’re alerted to the grim fate of ac­ci­den­tal teenage drug deal­ers – even those whose fa­thers look like ac­tion fig­ures.

In Snitch, an 18-year-old kid named Ja­son (Rafi Gavron) fool­ishly al­lows a friend to mail him a pack­age of ec­stasy.

Both are caught, but Ja­son’s plight is worse: His friend frames him, get­ting a re­duced sen­tence, while Ja­son, with no one to rat out, faces 10 years in prison.

Luck­ily, Ja­son’s dad, John (Dwayne John­son), af­ter look­ing up ‘‘drug car­tels’’ on Wikipedia, of­fers a deal to a US at­tor­ney (a huffy Su­san Saran­don): He’ll go un­der­cover into the drug trade and risk his own life, in ex­change for le­niency for his son.

No one’s go­ing to mis­take the mas­sive John­son (for­merly a wrestling star known as The Rock) for a nu­anced ac­tor – he some­times fal­ters in mo­ments that re­quire, say, act­ing while walk­ing. But he’s a lik­able, sooth­ing pres­ence, and he han­dles his de­voted-fa­ther role with quiet con­fi­dence.

De­spite a cou­ple of nifty car chases (in­clud­ing one in which a shiny truck even big­ger than John­son rolls and slides with un­ex­pected and im­pres­sive grace), Snitch is more of a dra­matic thriller than an ac­tion movie, and di­rec­tor Ric Ro­man Waugh fills it with close-ups, dark in­te­ri­ors and tense faces.

It’s a com­pe­tent if un­re­mark­able film, even though it lacks a cer­tain sus­pense – you never fear for a mo­ment that John won’t per­se­vere in his quest to nab bad guys, save his son and am­ble into the sun­set.

John­son, with his low-key charisma, may not yet be an ac­tor, but he’s cer­tainly a movie star.

Snitch opens to­day.


Dwayne John­son stars as a dad who goes un­der­cover in the drug trade to save his son from a long jail term in

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