- Rated R
- Buy the Blu-ray
All photos © Sony Pictures
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
resh off his highly-publicized marriage to Madonna, Guy Ritchie returned to the world of cinema in 2000 with his sophomore effort, "Snatch," a highly stylized crime caper in the same vein as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," but with a satisfying West Coast flair thanks in part to the addition of Brad Pitt. Featuring a memorable ensemble cast of both British and American actors, the film centers on a group of reckless criminals that inadvertently become involved in a labyrinth-like plot full of two-timing back stabbers set to the tone of Ritchie's trademark comic violence and tongue in cheek humor. It may seem like an outspoken follow-up to his cult debut, but "Snatch" works just fine as a standalone film.
The film begins with the theft of an 86 carat diamond by a Jewish gambling junkie aptly named Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro). The diamond is meant for American mobster Cousin Avi (Dennis Farris), but when his London-based jeweler friend learns of Franky's nasty gambling habit, he hires Boris the Blade (Rade Serbedzija) – a gangster renowned for dodging bullets – to steal the diamond for himself. Boris then calls on three misfit thugs (Lennie James, Robbie Gee, and Ade) to do the dirty work, but when their incompetence gets in the way, the diamond becomes the object of desire for some of the meanest criminals in all of London.
On the other side of the story is boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) up to his neck in all sorts of problems. Turkish and his buddy Tommy (Stephen Graham) are currently involved in setting up a fight between their manm Gorgeous George, and the in-house boxer of local villain, Brick Top (Alan Ford), whose penchant for mercilessly killing others and feeding them to his pigs has not gone unnoticed. But when Gorgeous is knocked out during a rehearsal bout with a gibbering Irish gypsy named Mickey O'Neil (Pitt), the Pikey is rashly recruited as his replacement. The deal for the underground bout has Mickey taking a dive in the fourth, but there's just one problem: Mickey doesn't follow instructions too well... and he doesn't like getting knocked out.
"Snatch" is a film with as many subplots as there are characters, but as each character is eliminated, the subplots come closer together, and in true Ritchie style, the movie doesn't end until the words "The End" are physically stamped across the screen. The film bathes in this sort of humor throughout, and much like "Lock, Stock," part of the winning comedy of Ritchie's vision is that most of the slaughter takes place just left of the cameras. Even when he dwells on the blood lust of his characters, Ritchie doesn't actually show the bodies being hacked apart or riddled with bullets. It's all assumed.
Some critics may put down "Snatch" as a polished remake of "Lock, Stock," but "Snatch" accents everything its former had to offer. It's slicker, snappier, more confident and better acted. And though he does inhabit the same filthy underworld as Quentin Tarantino, what Ritchie may lack in originality, he makes up for with boldness and manic energy. And thank goodness Ritchie doesn't think he's an actor. Right from the opening credits – which introduce each of the film's cartoonish characters via stylish freeze-frames – "Snatch" makes it clear that it's not meant to be analyzed too closely.
Single-Disc Blu-Ray Review:
For the Blu-ray debut of “Snatch,” Sony has brought over most of the bonus features from the two-disc special edition DVD – including an audio commentary with director Guy Ritchie and producer Matthew Vaughn, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette – as well as some exclusive extras found only on BD-Live. Along with creating your own clips with the “Snatch Cutting Room” feature (which you can share with your friends), viewers can also access real-time in-movie information about the cast, crew and production with Sony’s movieIQ application. It’s not much, but for a catalog title, it’ll do.