Drugs again. It seems that every action flick these days pivots around drugs: drug cartels, drug deals, drug deals gone bad, or drug addictions. To me, this is terra incognita, an unknown land, although I am certainly aware of the violence and devastation drugs have caused!

This time we have a father who volunteers to go undercover for the DEA as he desperately tries to rescue his son from prison where he landed after he was set up in a drug deal. (When Dwayne Johnson, formerly "The Rock," does a film, it usually promotes family values. One reviewer made the astute observation that while Johnson still isn't an actor, he IS a movie star.)

We see:
  • Dwayne Johnson ("Fast Five") is the father, completely out of his depth dealing with bad guys (he owns a construction company). The first thing that happens, he gets his behind whupped!
  • Rafi Gavron ("Celeste & Jesse Forever") is the son trying to be a loyal friend despite his chum's betrayal...but prison's no picnic!
  • Jon Bernthal ("Rampart") is an employee who has a prison record but is determined to go straight.
  • Melina Kanakaredes (lots of TV) is the distraught mother, frantic to get her son out of jail.
  • Barry Pepper ("Broken City") is a DEA agent, smart, experienced ...and worried about an innocent schmuck being used by special interest groups.
  • Susan Sarandon ("Cloud Atlas") is a District Attorney running for higher office. THAT is HER sole focus!
  • Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar in "The Wire") is once again, a thug, a ringleader, a killer and an all-around bad guy.
In a movie like this, directed by Ric Roman Waugh ("Felon") we can expect spectacular vehicular mayhem and brutal gunfights, but surprisingly clean language and unrealistically sparkling white teeth. When is Hollywood going to learn? It makes me smile to watch the rating wars: no cursing or sex, so it gets a PG-13, even though the bullets fly and the body count is significant! Ah well...
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Here is a link to a preview:
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