Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.
In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary... come again?
Snatch seems to be one of those spunky British gangster films that critics are divided on, yet it's loved by the target audience. Guy Ritchie has done a Sam Raimi, he has remade the first film that put him on the cinematic map. Where Raimi remade The Evil Dead, and just called it Evil Dead II, Ritchie cheekily tries to get away with remaking Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and calling it Snatch. Sure the circumstances in plotting are different, and there's a big American star brought in to beef things up for the global market, but it's the same movie and without doubt it's lazy film making. But it still - like Evil Dead II - Rocks!
Snatch in story terms is concerned with a big diamond that stitches together a number of threads involving the London underworld. Some rough and tough Romany types join in the fun, headed by a purposely illegible Brad Pitt, while Dennis Farina, Benicio Del Toro and Rade Serbedzija add more cosmopolitan meat to the crooks and gangster stew. The British cement holding the building up comes in the twin forms of Jason Statham and Stephen Graham, with Vinnie Jones once again turning up to frighten the masses. Everything from bare knuckle fighting to bumbled robberies - to dog fighting and shifty arcade empires - are here, with Ritchie writing characterisations that positively boom off of the screen.
As with "Lock-Stock", the beauty is in the way violence and humour are deftly blended. Scenes are often bloody but also bloody funny, a pearl of dialogue is never far away from a perilous situation. The comic tone is more close to the knuckle here, Ritchie having fun toying with ethnic and machismo stereotypes, while he brings his bag of visual tricks before it got boring. The narrative is deliciously complex, but much credit to Ritchie for the way he pulls all the threads neatly together in a whirl of scene splicing and cocky literary assuredness.
So it's "Lock-Stock 2" then! No bad thing if you happen to be a fan of that sort of wide boy malarkey. If you don't like it? Then jog on sunshine. 8/10
Screen Gems, SKA Films, Columbia Pictures by Guy Ritchie.
Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Stephen Graham, Vinnie Jones.
Genres: Comedy, Crime
Keywords: england gypsy gambling bare knuckle boxing slang robbery trailer park antwerp boxer gangster pig underground fighting cult film diamond heist pikey
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