The film tries to paint in shades of gray with vague criticisms of the war on drugs, but the absurdity of its he-man Everyman plot ends up turning its moral palette a muddy brown.
Nobody is going to confuse a Dwayne Johnson movie with "Les Miserables." But "Snitch" gets a decent amount of drama (and action, of course) out of the argument that there's paying for a crime, and then there's overpaying.
Its nominal outrage over the severity of our nation's sentencing laws for first-time drug offenders is quickly subsumed by a jacked-up narrative of a father going to extremes to save his son.
Half crime thriller, half family drama, with a bit of legal and behind-prison-walls suspense thrown in, "Snitch" is like watching an elephant on ice: inelegant, but you admire the effort.
This movie executes two missions: A) to entertain us; and B) to put some big exclamation points on a couple of messages about certain drug laws in this country in need of a thorough re-examination.
The B-movie action version of an advocacy doc: It tries (with some success) to show the inequity in a system in which a first offender on a drug charge can, in many cases, spend more time behind bars than a rapist, or armed robber, or even a murderer.
Despite its apparent compromises to noble finger-wagging (initially) and requisite fist-pumping (eventually), Waugh has fashioned a sturdy character-first entertainment out of Snitch.