Rating: PG-13 Running time: 112 minutes
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Rafi Gavron
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
If you happen to be the parent of a teenager who seems a bit high-spirited, you could do both of yourselves a favor and take him or her to see Snitch, the new action film starring Dwayne Johnson.
The film's valuable life lesson comes during the first five minutes, when a good kid does something very stupid. In a simple act that borders on passivity, he comes perilously close to destroying not only his life, but also those of everyone around him.
For all the fiery car crashes, cocked guns and savage beatings that follow, Snitch manages to sustain a simple but profound lesson: Life often turns on small actions and minute decisions.
Johnson — and sorry, Dwayne, but you are forever destined to have your name apostrophized with your old wrestling nom de doom, "The Rock" — plays the owner of a construction company whose estranged son (Rafi Gavron) is busted by the feds for what appears to be a minor drug offense. Trouble is, an overzealous federal prosecutor (Susan Sarandon, who has mastered the art of smiling broadly while oozing evil) will put Junior away for a few decades unless Dad helps her haul in a couple of notorious drug kingpins.
A title card insists the story of Snitch is "inspired by true events," but I suspect the trueness of the tale has faded by the time Dad is hauling along the interstate in his 18-wheeler trading shotgun blasts with a caravan of bad guys in big sedans.
Former stuntman Ric Roman Waugh — who cowrote the script with Justin Haythe, the guy responsible for 1968's Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road — has a nice sense for balancing action and drama. And he reins in the mayhem enough to keep Snitch's rating to PG-13 — just right for a friendly night out at the movies with that feisty kid of yours.
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