Snatch (2000) / Thriller-Comedy
MPAA Rated: R for strong violence, language, and some nudity
Running Time: 102 min.
Cast: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Alan Ford, Brad Pitt, Denis Farina, Rade Serbedzjia, Robbie Jee, Lennie James, Vinnie Jones, Benicio del Toro, Mike Reid, Jason Flemyng, Guillermo del Toro, Guy Ritchie (cameo)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Screenplay: Guy Ritchie
"Mr. Madonna", Guy Ritchie, follows up his splash debut to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with another wryly comic (and violent) crime piece with Snatch. Like the previous film, it features a cast of almost two dozen main players, but at least this time the characters are easier to tell apart than in Lock Stock.
There are several converging storylines in the plot, but the one thing that holds them all together is an 84-karat diamond stolen by Franky Four Fingers (del Toro, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and gang. Other stories include a boxing bookie who specializes in throwing fights, a gypsy boxer (Pitt, Fight Club) with a knack for one-punch knockouts, a lot of hitmen, plenty of bumbling mob types, and one squeaky dog.
Snatch is primarily meant to be a fun film, full of kooky characters and amusing situations. While never really hilarious in a fall out of your chair sense, Ritchie's film sustains a level of amusement for the entire duration, and an amusement for the cartoonish characters strong enough to keep you smiling.
Although many in the audience will be viewing the film for Brad Pitt's involvement, just be warned that he is given only a small role, albeit a memorable one, playing the unintelligible gypsy boxer.
Director Ritchie does sometimes go overboard with the direction (or over-direction, I should say), but during many scenes, his heavily visual style works terrifically. Engaging actors in colorful roles, a crazy script with funny situations, and some good funky music come together for a satisfying good time. Definitely recommended for people who are still hankering for another Pulp Fiction fix.
©2000 Vince Leo