Snitch (12A) 112 mins **
Here’s a curio: a lumbering non-thriller, “inspired by true events”, which deploys Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s brawn to wrestle with America’s losing war on drugs. Construction boss John Matthews (Johnson) is obliged to take extreme measures when wayward, pill-pushing son Jason (Rafi Gavron) falls foul of draconian mandatory-minimum sentencing. Jason’s sole hope of early release is to turn supergrass, compelling Matthews Sr. to wade manfully into the underworld and find someone for Junior to dob in. If that sounds absurd and convoluted, writer/director Ric Roman Waugh’s big idea is that, yep, that’s the system, too.
There’s a better B-movie in here making the same point in niftier time, but this frowning, mostly funless effort takes the long way round, clogging the action with bluntly defined secondary characters. While Dwayne’s Wiki-ing “drug cartels”, Omar from The Wire and Benjamin Bratt posture as rival suppliers, while Barry Pepper sports a nausea-inducing beard as the cop on Matthews’ case, and Susan Sarandon is damned in one line (“I don’t have children”) as an ambitious stateswoman. It picks up whenever the star’s speeding around in a truck, but otherwise proves about as exciting and convincing as a Statham road safety campaign.
Snitch is in cinemas nationwide.