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Date [ 2013-03-03, 10:10 ]

A father takes on a drug cartel head-on.



(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Benjamin Kim = Businessman John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) is the owner of a construction company in the American heartland. He is devastated when his 18-year‐old son Jason (Rafi Gavron) receives a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence in federal prison. His crime? He is caught with a package containing illicit drugs. Only thing is, that package was given to him by his friend who now refuses to come forward. That friend would rather save his own skin...


The penalty for simply receiving the package is ten to thirty years in federal. Politically ambitious U.S. Attorney, Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon) makes Jason an offer. To manufacturing evidence against someone else. In other words, Jason’s only chance at lessening his sentence is turning in someone else. Since he would have to lie and fabricate evidence against a friend, Jason refuses and sees a long prison term looming in. 

 

It is now that John Matthews takes matters into his own hands. He begs US Attorney, Keeghan, to let him go undercover instead. It is a case of a desperate father trying to save his teenage son from an unjust prison sentence by infiltrating a dangerous drug cartel. The only problem is, he does not know any drug dealers. He makes an effort but is not successful. He then turns to one of his employers, Daniel( Jon Bernthal). He is an ex-con who is now trying to get his life in order again. Daniel introduces John to the world of drugs and drug dealers.

 

Matthews id finally in and finds it is an extremely violent world. Lording over it is the ruthless drug dealer, Malik (Michael Kenneth Williams). Very soon he finds himself in a predicament. In his efforts to save his son, he compromises the position of Daniel, putting his employee in serious danger.. Going on to expose the gang even further, he unexpectedly exposes a major player in the Mexican drug trade (Benjamin Bratt), John’s dangerous quest to save his son now becomes deadly.

 

Ric Roman Waugh directed this film from a screenplay written by himself and Justin Haythe of Revolutionary Road fame.

 

Waugh was initially shocked, and then galvanized, by what he learned about the federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. “Under these harsh guidelines, the only way to reduce the sentence is to snitch on other potential drug traffickers,” says Waugh. “Since Jason has no one to turn in and he refuses to lie, his father goes to the U.S. Attorney and offers to help find a real drug dealer in exchange for leniency for his son.”

After reading the earlier version of the script, Waugh began to fine‐tune the story and the characters. “I learned as much as I could about the true stories that inspired this,” he says. “Then I did a rewrite that I think gives the audience what it wants in terms of action, but in a grounded, realistic way. This is not a pure popcorn movie. You won’t roll your eyes because something is unbelievable.”

 

The Rock’s appearance may have many thinking this is a full blown action film. But despite a few brief gun fights and one thrilling car chase, the film is more of solid characters and real human drama.

abc@koreanpress.net

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