Dwayne Johnson, right, stars in the new thriller Snitch as a father who will go to great lengths to bring his son back home, including helping the Drug Enforcement Administration pull in narcotics kingpins such as the one played by Boardwalk Empire’s Michael K. Williams, left. (Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment)
For more than 15 years, Ric Roman Waugh was a stuntman for such films as Total Recall and Gone in 60 Seconds. Ric was following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Fred Waugh, who was a pioneer in cinematic daredevilry.
These days, Ric Waugh has carved out a different path for himself in the movie business. But risk, if there is a point to it, is still in his blood. First, he took the leap to working as a writer/director (Felon, 2008), and even in that capacity he is daring to do something few do.
Ric Waugh is intent on making taut thrillers full of onscreen tension that make audiences’ pulses race in the theater, and triggers them to take action afterward.
The United States is the only country in the world that locks up kids for life without parole.
In June, The Supreme Court ruled mandatory life sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole, if convicted of certain crimes, were unconstitutional. Fortunately, California governor Jerry Brown signed SB9 into law, which will help over 300 convicted juveniles be eligible for parole after 25 years.
His latest movie, Snitch, set to open in theaters February 22 of 2013, fits the action-triggering-thriller profile to a T. Inspired by a true story the filmmaker saw on the PBS series Frontline, and produced by TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media, the film stars Dwayne Johnson as a father who sees his 18-year-old son (Rafi Gavron) take the fall for drug charges that carry a mandatory minimum federal sentence of 10 years in prison. The sentence can only be reduced if the 18-year-old serves as a snitch on other drug traffickers. But the son is unfamiliar with anyone in the drug world.
It falls to Johnson to infiltrate the underworld and bring the DEA enough dope slingers that it will send his kid back home.
“It’s a completely true story that just blew my mind,” Waugh tells TakePart. “I have five-year-old twin boys, and I always say I would move heaven and earth for them, just as every parent would out there. This is a testament to that. It’s about how far would you go down that rabbit hole for your own kids.”
Pretty far, it seems like, if the recently dropped trailer is any indication.
Have you ever risked or given up something for the sake of your family? Tell about it in COMMENTS.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Stephen Saito writes about the movies. His work has appeared in Premiere, the L.A. Times and IFC.com. He recently founded the indie film site The Moveable Fest. Email Stephen | @mfrushmore