Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
How far will you go to protect your children? What, exactly will you do to keep them safe and out of harm’s way? Whatever it is, consider John Matthews (Johnson) the owner of a small construction company who is informed by his ex wife (Melina Kanakaredes) that their son was busted for drug running. As it turns out, Jason (Rafi Gavron) wasn’t really involved in the distribution of drugs, but was unwittingly set up by one of his “friends”. When offered a deal to rat out who set him up, Jason refuses, so it is now time for Dad to step up to the plate.
Matthews cuts a deal with the hard-charging U.S. DA to go undercover and act as an informant to infiltrate a drug cartel that is operating locally. Needless to say, the mission while not safe at the onset, winds up becoming even more dangerous causing Matthews to literally risk everything, including his business, family, and even his own life. When Matthews realizes that he needs to do whatever it takes to help reduce his son’s 10 year mandatory prison sentence he initiates contact with one of the ex-cons that work for him (Jon Bernthal) to make an introduction to the local drug lord, which he does reluctantly. The problem becomes as Matthews gets sucked deeper and deeper into a hole from which he can’t extract himself and he winds up endangering his employee’s life and family as well.
This film winds up being an interesting, and (reasonably) believable story which is played out well. Instead of going for impossible heroics from Matthews, the film makers try to keep the film as realistic as possible. Matthews doesn’t wind up being a John McClane-style “superhero” but rather some ordinary guy stuck in extraordinary circumstances. The film’s producers were originally inspired by a Frontline documentary about how changes to the US federal drug policy now encourage incarcerated felons to snitch on their accomplices. Needless to say, while the film purports to be “inspired by true events” it isn’t so much based on any ones actual story, but more so on possible events based on actual laws. Still, it makes for a very watchable film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.