Review: Even 4K can't save 'Snitch' from itself

Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 3:07 PM Central
Last updated Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 3:07 PM Central

by John Couture

I have to admit that I'm not the biggest Dwayne Johnson fan in the world, so perhaps my indifference to him clouded my initial viewing of Snitch a few years ago. I remember being pretty excited about the film, but the lasting taste in my memory was one of being left wanting more.

I was hoping that it would have been the next Heat but in the end, it was a film that squandered a relatively good cast and failed to deliver on the implied expectations. The film ties together many themes ranging from the craziness of our government's war on drugs to a father's ultimate sacrifice for his son.

Given that I was a newly minted father myself when the film came out, perhaps my standing prevented me from fully appreciating the subtle nuances of The Rock's performance. So, I went into this review of the 4K UHD Blu-ray with an open mind and hopeful that my new outlook and some distance from its initial release would give me a better experience.

In a word, nope.

Again, I don't think that Dwayne Johnson is solely responsible for the film's failure to connect with me, I just think that he's grossly miscast here. In much the same way that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the wrong choice to lead Aftermath, Johnson lacks the necessary acting chops to convincingly carry the emotional scenes between him and his son.

That's not to say that the entire film is a lost cause because when Dwayne Johnson is able to settle into the action scenes and his role as an informant, he plays to his strengths and the film becomes rather enjoyable. Unfortunately, these scenes are in stark contrast to the emotional scenes and together they create an uneven performance that is best forgotten.

It seems that this little foray into semi-serious roles was a short-lived one though as Dwayne Johnson has chosen much more action-oriented roles since then such the Fast and the Furious films. Perhaps he will perfect his craft in coming years and truly emote to a point where he's believable in a serious drama, but I'm not holding my breath. As we have seen with Arnold Schwarzenegger, sometimes it's just better to stick with what you're good at.

I will say that the 4K UHD version of the film does improve the action scenes, especially the highway chases sequence. I find it interesting that it seems that films released about five years ago seem to have the most visual discrepancy between their blu-ray versions and the 4K UHD version. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) of color is readily apparent and the film certainly looks better than ever before, but it still doesn't offset the lulls between the action sequences.

As expected of any 4K UHD Blu-ray release, the Dolby Atmos sound is phenomenal and truly makes itself known during the heavy action sequences. My only complaint on the 4K UHD package is that there are no addtional new special features that might make a decision to upgrade from the existing blu-ray more enticing. As it stands though, if you already own Snitch on blu-ray, then you are probably a fan. If you have already migrated over to a 4K UHD player, then I'm sure that you'll want to make the upgrade as well with this movie.