on March 15, 2002
Snatch is a fast-paced gangster thriller from England. Like many such British films, it is equal parts drama and black comedy. Our friends in the UK may take crime seriously, but they can't bring themselves to do the same with criminals. Perhaps there is a lesson for us there. I thoroughly enjoyed Snatch, but I must warn you that the accents can sometimes be hard to understand. The one used by Brad Pitt is intentionally indecipherable. Fortunately, I watched the DVD version, which has an option that puts subtitles on the screen whenever Mt. Pitt speaks. The video edition does not have this feature, but that doesn't matter too much. His dazzling performance is entirely physical in nature, so what does it matter what he has to say? The other characters don't understand him either.
The movie was directed by Michael Ritchie, who is probably better known to Americans as Madonna's husband. His first picture, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, was also about psycho bad guys; in fact, Snatch is so similar to it that it is practically a sequel. The characters are different, but many of the same actors appear in both movies. Both films also share Ritchie's frenetic, stylish editing, as well as his fascination with lowlifes.
The plot is so complicated that describing it is difficult. I had little problem following it, but several reviewers admitted to getting completely lost. Basically, the story is about a huge diamond that gets stolen from a jewelry company in Amsterdam. It bounces from one group of criminals to the next, and, of course, everybody wants to get their hands on it at any cost. Meanwhile, a boxing promoter is having a very difficult time with a vile, ruthless gang boss who is demanding that he fix a fight. This is where Brad Pitt's character, One Punch Mickey, comes in. He is part of a band of gypsies [thus, the accent] who are the trickiest double-dealing folks you are every likely to see. Soon, everyone is merrily out to get everyone else.
The characters all have names straight out of a Damon Runyon story - Frankie Four Fingers, Bullet Tooth, Boris the Blade, Turkish and Brick Top are some of them. I think the names alone are enough of a clue that the movie is not to be taken seriously. One problem some viewers will have with it is that there are two or three times as many characters than in most movies. Keeping up with them can be a challenge.
Snatch should prove to be great fun for those who love for a movie to be fast and innovative. For those who like them to be cool, calm and collected, another choice of movies is recommended.
What a follow-up to "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels!" It's the closest thing to a sequel without being one. Some say that "Snatch" is a poor follow up of Ritchie's first film, I say that this is an improvement on his signature style, an aggressive and a supercharged 21-gun salute to Britain film/filmmakers. The deftness displayed in this writer/director's pacing and editing is at times electrifying and sometimes simply beautiful. The soundtrack is not only superb and includes one of my personal favorite bands, Oasis, and is used to great comic effect as an poignant accompaniment to certain scenes.
In the vein of Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, and Fight Club, Snatch is a gritty dance with the criminal element, revolving around a stolen 86-karat diamond that any good crook would give his right arm for. (And in one case, I mean that literally.)After a boggling series of double-crosses, triple-crosses, and multi-crosses, Snatch becomes a game of who will end up with the gem -- and how will they get it? Ritchie keeps us guessing at every turn, with Russians hiring mercenary crooks to steal the jewel, hit men sent to kill the mercenaries, mobsters trying to outwit the hit men, Jewish jewelers scheming to undermine the mobsters, a crazed bare-knuckled boxer looking for his payday despite the chaos, and one dog who's lost his bark.
And every one of these stories is hilarious.
Vinnie Jones as Bullet Tooth Tony, a hunter/assassin who chills his prey with deadly stares; Benicio Del Toro (Traffic) is caught-in-the-middle robber/gambling addict; Dennis Farina, a stressed jeweler who can never catch a break; or any of two dozen other apt actors who fully own their roles. In the end, though, you have to give a hand to Brad Pitt, still buff from Fight Club, as a slur-mouthed Gypsy boxer who always manages to get one step ahead of the crowd.
"Snatch" is great. There are some funny lines, and some of the violence is quite inventive. Several times in this movie I was reminded of the "strange occurrences" theme seen in Magnolia. I wholeheartedly recommend this film if you haven't already snatch it.
on September 4, 2003
Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" repeats the basic blueprint of his previous film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." The genre is the same, the setting is the same, the tone is the same, and some of the actors are the same. Yet "Snatch" still manages to stand on its own by being a smoother and slicker production that its predecessor. And having Brad Pitt on board this time around certainly helps the film carve out its own identity.
Once again mayhem and mishaps help to mar a criminal scheme. Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) steals a diamond which attracts the attention of Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia) and Avi (Dennis Farina) who each want the diamond for himself. In the meantime, a gypsy (Pitt) who excels in the bare knuckle boxing department, but who is somewhat less refined in his verbal skills is recruited for a fight. Through a series of twists and turns, the fate of the diamond hunters and the gypsy boxer become intertwined and story twists ensue that would have been right at home in a screwball comedy - if not for the high body count.
What separates Ritchie's gangster flicks from those of his contemporaries is the combination of sassy wit and energy embodied in both his characters and the situations they find themselves in. Oftentimes "Snatch" strays perilously close to being too outrageous for its own good but it always manages to not cross the line into satire. Pitt gives one of his more underappreciated performances of the last few years and makes you realize just how useful the subtitle function is for DVD films. His gypsy boxer is a pure manifestation of all the zaniness that this film contains. Here's hoping that Ritchie can expand into other types of film genres in the future instead of continuing to compose variations on a theme. For the time being though, if you find yourself in the mood for an off-kilter crime caper, then "Snatch" is the film for you.
on September 19, 2002
That by itself is enough to justify this movie. It is beyond well-made; whoever did the technical work on this movie deserved major recognition. The music/sound effects are simply stunning (and funny.) It is funny (as in, a horrible pain will be taking over your sides and you will loose your breath) and interesting. There is not one dull moment in this entire movie, there is always something going on.
The only thing (and another reason to buy it) is that you will need to watch it a few times to get the full effect of the movie. But, after you see it, you will need to repeat the process a few times. If you have friends (you better know them well), this is a great way to kill time, as it is better to watch it in a group.
Buy it and enjoy!
on April 9, 2004
This movie comes with two discs, the second being the special feature disc. It is loaded with tons of special features and just as many easter eggs. Features include: "Making Snatch", storyboard comparisons, deleted scenes, video photo gallery, TV spots, theatrical trailers, direct link to "Snatch" website, and filmographies for many main characters. "Making Snatch" is a 24 minute featurette that includes behind the scenes interviews with some of the actors and staff. There are only five or six deleted scenes available, and they are not very entertaining...there is a feature on the first disc called "Stealing Stones" where you can watch the movie, and when the diamond pops up on the screen you can press enter to see where the deleted scene should have been.
One of the neatest things I saw was the video photo gallery; it has tons of behind the scenes photos. The TV spots are the previews that we saw on television before the movie came out in theatres; there are two of those.
Now for the easter eggs. The first is located on the second disc, first menu, go to the > arrow, and press up on the remote control, you should see an ! on the screen somewhere, press enter to see a short compilation of just about every time the characters say "****" during the movie.
For another easter egg, get to the second menu on the second disc. Find the < arrow and press up on your remote, you should see "1" somewhere on your screen, press enter, and watch a short compilation of some quotes from the movie.
The other easter eggs are on the second disc, in the filmographies section. Select an actor to see his filmography, use the up arrow on your remote to see if there is an easter egg for him... if there is, you should see a diamond appear on his picture. Press enter to see a short interview with Guy Ritchie on the selected actor. This only works on 2 or three of the actors, and it also works on Guy Ritchie's filmography, and he talks about the movie.
on February 27, 2004
SNATCH, the latest film from Guy Ritchie's catalogue, continues the rollicking line of English gangster cinema spawned by the writer/director. Once again, Ritchie manages to tie up all the loose ends of a variety of capers into one, big, package of corruption set in London and centered on one fist-sized stolen diamond. Pulling from the same crowd of actors in his last hit Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, the director almost creates a sequel. The film is full of talent, from the writing to the acting to the fantastic dialogue and on down even to the music.
SNATCH stars some of today's biggest actors such as Benicio DelToro (TRAFFIC; THE USUAL SUSPECTS) and Brad Pitt (LEGENDS OF THE FALL; SE7EN; FIGHT CLUB) as tiny, yet extremely important characters. Rarely do you find such talent filling in supporting roles in foreign films. But, both DelToro and Pitt portray their characters beautifully.
Pitt plays Mickey, a fast-talking, tattoo-sporting, gypsy bare-knuckle boxing champion who refuses to go down in a series of illegal boxing matches. DelToro stars as a Frankie Four Fingers, a Jewish gangster with some what of a gambling problem - he has debts he can't pay, so they give him the chop, hence the name. Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina) is another actor hailing from our hemisphere. Farina plays Frankie's cousin who hates England and hates the fact that he has to fly over there and get Frankie out of trouble.
But, though the semi-American supporting actors do give the movie that good bit of USA flavor, it is the English cast that really makes the flick. Turkish (Jason Statham) is a simple boxing promoter who is trying his hardest to avoid the crime lord of the illegal boxing world, Brick Top (Alan Ford). Brick Top is known for feeding those he doesn't like to the pigs. Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia) is trying to steal Frankie's diamond, but Frankie is off gambling on unlicensed boxing. Meanwhile, Cousin Avi hires Bullet-Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones - GONE IN 60 SECONDS) to locate Frankie. Well before long, the entire state of affairs is so tangled up Ritchie himself could only put it right by killing off half the people involved, shoving the diamond down the mouth of a stray dog, and burning a few trailers. Don't understand what I could possibly be talking about? Rent this movie, and you'll get the picture.
The only foreseeable problem I can envision with this flick is that you'll probably have to watch it a couple of times before you finally get the real jist of it. Like Lock, Stock... it is impossible to take it all in on the first run-through. So, I recommend you grab a beverage and a companion of your choice (be it man, woman, or beast), slip this cinematic masterpiece into your DVD/VCR, prop your feet up on the coffee table, and get ready to feel the adrenaline as this super-charged crime caper gets your heart going and reminds us insane Americans of our fanatical UK roots.
on February 16, 2004
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. The characters: Turkish, Mickey, Boris the Blade, Tommy, Cousin Avi, Bullet-Tooth Tony, Vinny, Sol, Tyrone, Errol, Brick Top, Rosie, and Frankie Four Fingers are all masterfully played by an ensemble of superb actors. The film is masterfully directed, hilarious in parts, and has several sequences and lines you'll find yourself remembering for days afterwards. The best characters are Mickey (Brad Pitt), Vinny (Robbie Gee), Brick Top (Alan Ford), Boris the Blade (Rade Serbedgia), and Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina). I thought "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" was a decent film, but this one is much better as director Guy Ritchie (the guy who married Madonna, which, looking at him, you'd never believe) had much more to work with this time around.
This flick is excellent. I heard it didn't do too well in the box office, which I find hard to believe since everyone seems to like it so much. I've seen it four times now and I finally bought the DVD so I'll be watching it again and again. I highly recommend it.
on February 7, 2004
Snatch is one of the best films I've ever seen. Guy Ritchie's sophomore follow-up to his 1998 sleeper hit Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch revisits the previous film's territory of London's crime-ridden underbelly, and does so with the same brand of humor and stylish direction that made Ritchie's first effort a surprise success. With a labyrinthine plot that is ostensibly oriented around a missing diamond, Snatch introduces viewers to three groups of characters intent on retrieving the elusive stone, which has been stolen from an Antwerp jeweler. In the first group are friends and business partners Turkish (Jason Statham, who also supplies the film's voice-over narration) and Tommy (Stephen Graham), who join up with Mickey (Brad Pitt), an Irish gypsy and boxer. Turkish and Tommy make arrangements with Mickey to take a fall in a match engineered by lunatic gang leader Brick Top (Alan Ford). In another corner resides equally loony Russian gangster Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia), who has asked Jewish gangster Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) to place a bet on the match for him. Boris is also scheming to have Sol (Lennie James), the owner of a pawn shop, rob the place with a couple of dim associates. Meanwhile, Avi (Dennis Farina), freshly arrived in London from New York, hires Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find Franky when he goes missing; it seems that it was none other than Franky who was supposed to be transporting the purloined diamond to New York. Outrageously funny and full of edge-of-your-seat action, the movie is rated "R" for violence, profanity, nudity, drug references, and disturbing sequences. A must see hit for all.
on January 30, 2004
Snatch was reccomended to me by a good friend. I must admit being a little skeptical about a Guy Ritchie film since the dud "Swept Away." I was suprised by Snatch, because it's an awesome film.
Snatch is a bunch of stories within a big story. You've got a stolen diamond that no one can seem to hold on to, underground boxing, gangs, and what modern gangst tail wouldn't have the russian and some ex kgb. Snatch has it all and it's fun wathcing each story develop in the film.
Guy Ritchie wrote and directed this one and he has made some excellent characters. You gotta love Brad Pitt's characther Micky the gypsy barefisted boxing champions. Jason Statham is great as Turkish the boxing promoter who things just go bad for. There are a lot of other fun characters in the movie and that's where the driving part of the movie comes from.
Snatch is a great film. I liked it a lot and would reccomend it to just about everybody. Fans of British humor will really get a kick out of it, and so will Brad Pitt fans. He does a great job in the film. I own the film and I'm glad to say I do.
on March 2, 2003
Some wonder if director Guy Ritchie is a one-trick pony, particularly after his fluke "Swept Away" (which I have not seen). Regardless of the answer to this question, Snatch is one hell of a trick. Since I saw it a couple of years ago, I've been pondering where to place it on my list of all-time favorites. As much as I love this movie, it will have to take second to his other British underworld movie, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". I may be in the minority on this one, but I stand firm in my opinion.
Why do I love these movies enough to reserve the two top spots on my favorite movies list? Probably because they contain an excellently balanced mix of the following: violence, wit, villainy, comedy, character, color, and twisted plots whose cleverness could be compared to Shakespeare's plays. These movies may seem base, but the scripts are well-written and Guy Ritchie's talent is indisputable. These two movies should be a part of anyone's collection who has tastes remotely like mine (which I'm pretty sure there are).