February 22, 2013, - 5:49 am
While there are two new major feature film releases at theaters today, only one was screened for critics. “Dark Skies” was not, a good indication that it’s crap. “Snitch,” on the other hand, while not the greatest, was much better than I expected. Keep in mind, though, that, in addition to Duane “The Rock” Johnson and his ex-wife Dany Garcia, this movie is produced by ImageNation Abu Dhabi, so if you don’t want to support boycotters of Israel who practice travel apartheid against Jewish Israelis and Jews with Israeli stamps in their passports, it’s best to skip this. (Apparently, they don’t mind Jewish actors, though, to be their minstrels, as there are two in major roles in this movie.) I don’t make a habit of giving money to those who practice apartheid against me. Nor should you.
“Snitch” has a lot of giant, gaping holes in it, including the fact that the “average White boy” actor (British Jewish actor Rafi Gavron) who is supposed to be the son of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looks nothing like him and certainly doesn’t look like he’s a quarter Samoan and a quarter Black (Johnson is half Samoan and half Black). It’s supposed to be some sort of statement against the federal mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for drug dealers in the United States and declares in a caption at the beginning that the story is “inspired by true events.” I doubt that very much, for reasons I discuss below, in addition to the fact that whenever movies claim to be “inspired by true events,” it usually means they have very little to do with true events. I also didn’t like that a large underlying theme in the movie is your typical anti-male/anti-father meme: that the father abandoned his son and his first wife for a younger, sexier (Hispanic) version, and lives in a mansion while his son and ex-wife live in a “crappy” house (it looked nice to me, but they refer to it as an old shack). Now, in a time of crisis, the father feels guilt for that abandonment, which made his son irresponsible, and so he tries to make up for it by sacrificing greatly.
Johnson is a wealthy construction company owner. Johnson’s college-aged son is Skyping online with a friend who is selling ecstasy pills (I think they’re ecstasy, but that part happens so fast, it’s hard to tell). The friend says the pills are worth “Seven Grand” and asks if he can have them delivered to Johnson’s son’s home. Johnson’s son doesn’t answer, but when the express mail guy arrives, he signs for the package, opens it, and realizes there is a tracking device inside. DEA agents arrive at the home to arrest him, and after a brief chase, they catch and arrest him. The son soon learns that his friend was arrested by the feds and, in exchange for a lighter sentence, the friend set him up to receive the pills. The son is facing a mandatory minimum of ten years in jail or a year or two if he cooperates with the feds to set up one of his friends. He refuses.
Johnson wants to get his son out of prison, so he makes a deal with the grandstanding U.S. Attorney (Susan Sarandon), who is running for Congress and eager for good publicity and the DEA agent (Barry Pepper) who arrested his son, but is leery of the whole idea out of concern for Johnson’s safety. He agrees to go undercover and try to catch bigger fish in the drug-dealing world in order to get his son a reduced sentence. Soon, he and a Hispanic ex-con employee (played by Jewish actor Jon Bernthal) of his are trying to transport drugs for a local inner city Black Muslim drug dealer named Malik. They don’t say he’s Muslim, but coupled with the fact that his name is Malik and that he’s constantly shown with Muslim worry beads, I think you can make the connection.
But, soon, there are bigger fish in the picture, including a Mexican drug cartel kingpin known as “El Topo” (which the movie says means, “The Mole”–I don’t speak Spanish, so don’t get on me if their translation is incorrect). Although it is unclear where the movie takes place (there is a road trip to pick up drugs in Missouri), El Topo apparently lives in Michigan and has an area code of 517 (which is generally the area code for Lansing, Michigan, and the surrounding area). While I know that Michigan has its fair share of Mexican illegal aliens, who knew we had a major drug cartel headquartered in our dreary capital or its semi-rural surroundings? I guess it’s all too possible, these days. (In one scene, there is a background shot of what appears to be the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit, and in another, there is a mention of a “Woodward Exit” off a freeway–Woodward is a major avenue in the Detroit area–so perhaps the movie does take place here in Michigan.)
While it is entertaining–the movie has suspense, action, guns, shooting, and car chases–it’s predictable, and nothing original or outstanding. Nothing so good that it’s worth supporting and helping fund Abu Dhabi’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel apartheid. If this is the only source of funding that The Rock and Matt Damon can find for their movies, the two actors are even more sleazy than I originally diagnosed.
As I noted, there are so many holes in the story, and there are inaccuracies that many in the know would spot. For instance, I’ve worked with many federal agents who make drug arrests. They generally won’t touch or make drug busts in anything that involves less than a million dollars or illegal drugs worth that amount. So, it’s hard to believe that the feds would be involved in something with a street value of just “Seven Grand.” I also find it hard to believe that someone who merely signed for a package of pills and had a clean record–as is the case here–wouldn’t ultimately be able to get probation. It’s possible, but unlikely that this would result in jail time in a big city, as it’s entirely unlikely the feds would involve themselves in the case, given the relatively small value involved.
Also, anyone involved in representing federal defendants knows that a U.S. Attorney is largely an administrator and figurehead and would almost never be involved in a deal like this. That is usually the domain of the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned the case. (The one exception I know of is when Jeffrey Collins, the sleazy, pan-Muslim, affirmative action Bush U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan tried to get his minions to drop perjury charges against NBA basketball player Chris Webber, on whose foundation board Collins sat. Collins’ lowlife crony move to help out Webber failed, as courageous then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino refused and alerted the Justice Department.)
It’s not a great movie, though it is mildly entertaining and definitely not boring. But not only have I seen stuff like this a million times before (it reminded me of Johnson’s starring role in the remake of “Walking Tall”), I’ve even seen the actor who plays Malik playing a drug dealer (Michael Kenneth Williams, who also starred as drug dealer “Omar” in “The Wire” and as prohibition kingpin “Chalky White” in “Boardwalk Empire”) a million times before on TV and in movies. The Hollywood recycling is so obvious.
While I recommend against any financial support for Abu Dhabi apartheid through the purchase of tickets for this movie, I will rate it solely on its content, and in that respect, I give it . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Abu Dhabi, Chris Webber, Dany Garcia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dwayne Johnson, El Topo, federal manadatory minimums, federal mandatory minimum laws, ImageNation, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, Jeffrey Collins, Jon Bernthal, mandatory minimum laws, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi Gavron, Richard Convertino, Rick Convertino, Snitch, Snitch movie, Snitch movie review, Snitch review, Susan Sarandon, The Mole, The Rock