Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is unbelievable as somebody who gets beaten up. (Steve Dietl / Summit Entertainment)
Toward the beginning of "Snitch," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gets thoroughly beaten up by four scraggly street punks.
Say what? Usually it takes four battalions to even get this guy to breathe heavy. If you want somebody to get beat up by four scraggly street punks, you cast Greg Kinnear, not a man who resembles a mountain. His nickname is The Rock, for pity's sake.
Oh well, so it goes. This is obviously an attempt to pass off one of the world's foremost masses of muscle as just a regular guy. A regular guy who looks like The Hulk's younger cousin.
Here Johnson is playing John Matthews, the owner of a trucking company, whose teen son (Rafi Gavron) gets busted accepting a shipment of drugs and goes to jail, where he proceeds to get mugged regularly. (Hey, kid, your father is The freaking Rock!)
The only way Matthews can free his son is to give the cops a major drug dealer in exchange. So he enlists an ex-con employee (Jon Bernthal from "The Walking Dead") to help him make some contacts, the theory apparently being all ex-cons know major drug players.
This leads to first a local baddie (the ever-delicious Michael K. Williams) and then, conveniently, an international kingpin (Benjamin Bratt). Now the only question is whether a guy who can be beat up by four scraggly street punks can bring them down.
Aside from the incongruous casting of a man-mountain as a regular Joe, "Snitch" is one of those films that goes by with little seeming to happen. Sure, there are a couple of gunbattles, a thrilling truck chase, blah-blah-blah, but it all seems terribly familiar, and you don't believe any of these characters or feel their relationships.
When the list of the year's most eminently forgettable films is drawn up at the end of 2013, "Snitch" will likely be near the top.