Snatch

Snatch

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

After Guy Ritchie's startlingly original debut, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, there has been much speculation as to where his particular brand of Cockney gangster humour might take him next. The answer is nowhere. Snatch is more of the same.

The plot leaps from Antwerp to London to New York to a gypsy camp in a field to bare knuckle boxing to the Hatton Garden jewellery district to pubs, clubs and dodgy motors. There's a mutt, but no birds. It doesn't have a sign up, Women Not Wanted, but makes itself clear on the subject. The language, the violence, the unapologetic maleness of gangland bonding mixes the excesses of laddish culture with an affectionate tribute to Kray Brothers brutalism.

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At the centre of these antics is a big fat stolen diamond which everyone wants to get their filthy hands on and the simplest method proves the most effective - shooters, swords, deadly threats. There is also some illegal boxing going on, which involves one fighter "going down in the fourth", which inevitably doesn't happen, due to the unpredictability of a contentious Irish gypsy (Brad Pitt).

The complexity of the storyline adds to the fun. Everyone seems to be attempting murder in one form or another, while the chief villain (Alan Ford), an exceptionally nasty piece of work, feeds the remains of his victims to the pigs.

Snatch is way over the top, like Lock Stock was, only second time around it doesn't feel so fresh. The characters have a certain predictability, even the mad Russian (Rade Serbedzija), and Ritchie's camera tricks don't look so clever on rerun.

Brad Pitt contorts his accent into a gutteral mumble and throws himself into the fray. Far from assuming the star role, he fits in as one of boys. Although you suspect his role has been manufactured to complement Fight Club, he brings something alien to the elitist atmosphere of cor-blimey hardness that takes the film out of itself for a moment, providing a different kind of energy.

As for Wimbledon FC's finest, Vinnie Jones, he is up to his old nonsense, except this time conducts himself with the confidence of a man who stands taller than Nicolas Cage and feels good about it. Also, he has the use of a very large gun.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Snatch packshot
Diamond heist causes mayhem amongst London gangland hard men.
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Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Jason Statham, Dennis Farina, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford, Stephen Graham, Mike Reid, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Rade Serbedzija, Lennie James

Year: 2000

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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