Undercover dad’s bid to save son
Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt In America, the government fought back in the war against drugs by tightening federal policy so anyone found in possession of narcotics could be persuaded to testify against friends to reduce their sentence. Snitch is an action thriller inspired by real events about a young man who faces a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years as a result of this aggressive policy, and the father who risks his life to help the police prosecute the men responsible for his boy’s predicament. No doubt, the true story behind Ric Roman Waugh’s film is incredible and inspiring – a rousing testament to one man’s selfless crusade to save the people he loves. Unfortunately, Waugh’s script, co-written by Justin Haythe, fails to tug the heart strings and there’s a complete absence of jeopardy. The hero in question is John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), manager of a construction firm, who left his first wife Sylvie (Melina Kanakaredes) to begin afresh with Analisa (Nadine Velazquez). Out of the blue, John receives a phone call from Sylvie: their son Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron) has been arrested in possession of enough pills to earn him a decade behind bars. US attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), who hopes to be re-elected on an anti-drugs platform, is sympathetic to John’s pleas for leniency but is unmoved. In desperation, John proposes he will go undercover to bring down a drugs cartel, aided by Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper) and his covert task force. Thanks to an ex-con (Jon Bernthal) on the construction firm’s payroll, John makes a connection to local dealer Malik (Michael K Williams), who in turn leads to Juan Carlos Pintera (Benjamin Bratt) aka El Topo. Sarandon and Pepper are wasted in twodimensional roles, but chew scenery when required. Waugh competently orchestrates the action sequences including a confusing finale that descends into an explosive bloodbath.
a Haunted House (15)
Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Cedric The Entertainer A Haunted House scares perhaps one giggle in 85 lacklustre and occasionally offensive minutes, taking the concept of “things that go bump in the night” to its raunchy conclusion. The ramshackle plot centres on Malcolm Johnson (Marlon Wayans), who moves into a new home with his girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins). Surveillance cameras, installed to document Malcolm’s sexual shenanigans with Kisha now they are co-habiting, reveal the presence of a malevolent force in house. Malcolm calls in a psychic called Chip (Nick Swardson) to make contact with the spirit but Chip is more interested in getting his hands on Malcolm’s body than driving out the randy forces of evil. As the visitations increase in intensity and our will to live wanes, Father Doug Williams (Cedric The Entertainer) arrives to cleanse the property but not even a man of God is protected. The script, co-written by Rick Alvarez, scrapes the bottom of the barrel at every turn. A sequel is already pencilled in for 2014. Now’s that’s horrifying. rating: *
Dwayne Johnson as John Matthews and Jon Bernthal as Daniel James in Snitch
andrew Daly as Steve, alanna Ubach as Jenny, Marlon Wayans as Malcolm and Essence atkins as Kisha in a Haunted House