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Snitch (2013)

Snitch (2013)

A son gets a ten year sentence for receiving a package of drugs a friend convinced him to accept delivery of, and to save him from jail his dad makes a deal with the DEA, to catch a criminal kingpin in his stead. It doesn't start out that serious, but it intensifies fast: from one gang to the next, from delivering drugs to money, from the US, to Mexico.

The Rock plays the lead, the dad, and Jon Bernthal supporting - somewhat criminal, sidekick. They're both family men from different streets of life, and this is pretty much all about how far they'd go for their families.

Also interesting is John Matthews (The Rock) actually having two wives, with one kid each, and toggling between them for the duration of the film. There's some crisis there, but he handles it unexpectedly well, as well as he handles the deal with the DEA, and getting accepted by a group of thugs, all the way to making a run for El Topo himself. The big cheese. The Parmesan of the underground.

It all happens a bit too easily, but they manage to still keep it believable, and there's nothing wrong with either action or emotional scenes. The Rock doesn't really play the immortal tough guy you might be used to, and it's weird seeing him of all people in a somewhat more vulnerable state, like his toughness can't help shining through. Because he is tough. He looks tough. Even when he acts like he isn't, it feels like he could be tougher than he is... and that does get in the way of the plot progression a little. It all seems somehow a bit too simple, and superficial, even if he puts on his new character well.

It was a good movie though. Tense. Well-paced. Well-filmed. Also with a clear message on how unfairly drug crimes are punished in the US, with prison sentences for small charges higher than even those for rape and murder. And it all works in such a way that when one gets caught, they rat out the next in line to reduce their sentence... unless, of course, they have no one to rat out, or don't want to, and their dad ends up going on a vendetta in their place, to bring justice to a fucked up system.

I do appreciate the message! And the movie: not bad.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Comments

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  1. S3C
    Tuesday Mar/21/2017

    the movie is not a good representation of the U.S. justice system though. 1.) It's entrapment 2.) The DEA is not going to spend resources on trying to entrap an average guy, that doesn't manufacture drugs or have connections to actual druglords...in other words, they don't stop at a potential middle man. 3.) bail doesn't get denied for non-violent/non-dangerous offenders 4.) I've checked and the maximum (not minimum) that can possibly be implicated with a serious drug offense is 10 years, 12.25 if there's aggravating factors. What usually happens in a case like this, especially with first time offenders, they get probation, have to enter a drug/rehabilitation program, have fines to pay, and MAYBE 30-60 days in a county jail.

    those that intend to make sales of illegal substances a profitable business, intending to get clients hooked and leading to other dangerous behaviors get the book thrown at them, junkies and middleman who just hold on to drugs (typically for a discount on the drugs) get paroled and/or sent to rehabilitation programs.

    is it unequivocal though? perhaps, to a certain degree. Premeditated murder is 25 to life- in instances where the murder is particularly heinous, hate-driven, or against children a rare punishment is execution. Second degree murder is 10-25 years. Sexual assault is 5-14 years. Administer a sedative drug during the act is an additional three years; if the assault is committed with a deadly weapon the punishment can be a life sentence. Judges typically (legally?) cannot dish out more than the max sentences but they can give less than the minimum. Female sexual offenses commonly receive no jail time or considerably less than an equivalent crime committed by a male. Brock Turner made the news for raping an inebriated girl at a college party, to which the judge only gave him 3 months in jail because he "didn't want to ruin a young man's life" WTF!

    aside from all that...this was a solid film. I like the "soft" Rock. perhaps his best film.

  2. Cyber
    Wednesday Mar/22/2017

    Good to hear it's not as bad as it seemed in the movie! Do you have the death penalty across all states though - I thought it was just a select few, like Texas?

    That Turner case sounds pretty bad, though 3 months probably feels like a long time when you're locked up... I don't know, though of course people should be incarcerated according to the severity of their crime a lot of these times do seem like really long times. How long does it take to regret? Repent? Does prison help you with that, or does it simply toughen you up; make you worse? Considering the crime rate in the US is so high, and the prisons are as crowded as they are, it makes me question the method a bit.

    Mmm I do like the rockier rock more, but good to see he can play a different role too. If you like the Soft Rock btw: check out Moana. ;)

  3. S3C
    Thursday Mar/23/2017

    you're right, it's just some states. Mainly the red/republican/conservative ones. Texas is the one that carries out the most. Even then, death sentences are only issued under extreme circumstances. They are often commuted down to life sentences. And it usually takes decades for the execution to actually happen.

    it's not long enough for the type of crime he committed. in general you're right though, prison in the U.S. has a penchant for making people worse, rather than rehabilitating. recidivism rates are high. In the US the prison system is a highly profitable business. so that's part of the reason why incarceration rates are so high.

    that's not soft rock...that's magma rock

  4. Cyber
    Thursday Mar/23/2017

    Good to know. Wait... you mean criminals spend decades in prison, knowing they'll eventually die anyway?! :/

    Yeah, maybe true in his case. Profitable how though? I'd think any kind of prison takes a ton of resources to run. The infrastructure, guards, food, at least, if inmates don't have access to certain luxuries of entertainment?

    XD Figuratively speaking, magma rock can be pretty soft!

  5. S3C
    Thursday Mar/23/2017

    Well, they don't know. The judge hands out the initial death sentence, but the court process isn't over. (In fact all sentences here depending on the plea arrangement (if there is one) are subject to post conviction relief and appeals). Inmates on death row are sending appeals up to the last day. Even when they are strapped down waiting to die, they have to get confirmation from a governor (or someone) I believe. And last minute rejections have happened. Imagine having to go through the last walk/last meal procedure on more than one occasion.

    well it's profitable to the prisons. because they are funded through tax-payer money. if they set a high quota for how much crime they expect, they can raise the bar to how much they tax society.

    Secondly, it's a source of cheap labor! Inmates make about 5% of the minimum wage. it's borderline legalized slavery. as an inmate, depending on your circumstance, you are obliged to work. sometimes it's just simple prison jobs like mopping floors/janitorial and portering, but the well-behaved inmates get the 'privilege' to work outside prisons: in call-centers, manufacturing, packaging produce, construction, etc. you even see them in public: for example cleaning up litter on roads. They're in striped prison attire (sometimes in pink for the lulz) attached to ball-and chains and monitored by the police.

    ever seen the film Shawshank Redemption? It's a true 90s classic about life in jail. If you cull 10 random people, chances are atleast 1 of them will list their favorite film as Shawshank.

    hmm...true. Hot too. But many would say that all Rocks are a hot Rock.

  6. S3C
    Thursday Mar/23/2017

    so effectively: not all prisons are for profit, but many are. The latter have quotas to meet. if crime goes down, quotas should hypothetically go down and tax money allotted to crime goes down. Prisons lose money. America's all about making $$...The correctional system making less money is perceptively worse than a lower crime rate.

    Ironically, the ones that are for strong justice systems are often the ones that are for minimal taxation...you will still get the prison numbers, but there isn't going to be 'extra' tax dollars that makes the prison a more rehabilitative process like it should.

  7. Cyber
    Friday Mar/24/2017

    That'd be pretty heavy yeah. :| Unless it's intended psychological torture as a form of deterrence/retribution, it feels like that system could really use some tweaking.

    Oh, so prisons are privately-owned! Making a business out of crime... man that's pretty twisted. Didn't think the dystopian Death Race idea was so close to the present. I've seen the ball and chain thing in plenty of movies too, but old movies, like The Shawshank Redemption. I thought it was an abolished practice by now.

    ...yeah, man, need to read entire comments before I start responding. XD Good movie.

    Fo rizzle, all Rocks can become hot Rocks! But only a selected few are born Heavy Metal.

  8. Cyber
    Friday Mar/24/2017

    Government-owned facilities: for purpose; Private-owned: for profit? :/

    Any thoughts on how you'd be able to change this thing? Seems like pouring more tax money into the rehabilitation process wouldn't be the best way either. What encourages crime? Gun laws? Patriotism? Capitalism? Social injustice? Or is how crime is classed the issue - the judicial system rather than criminality itself? What's the source?



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