Snatch (2000)

Written & Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford, Dennis Farina, Benicio Del Toro

My Advice: Matinee.

Turkish (Statham) is a boxing promoter. He and his partner, Tommy (Stephen Graham), just want to do their fights, make their money, and get on with it. But their search for a new trailer/headquarters leads them to a gypsy camp, which leads them to pissing off the local heavy, Brick Top (Ford), which...which, well, after several various iterations leads them to a huge, flawless diamond that nearly everybody wants. Picture It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but with a diamond instead of a hidden treasure. Oh, and British accents. And guns.

First thing that needs to be established is that this film feels almost like a highly polished version of Guy Ritchie's prior and debut film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Granted, a lot of the same faces make appearances: Ford, Statham, Vinnie Jones, Jason Flemyng to name a few. But the trouble is, you can't come down too hard on it--because it's just so damn funny. And because it's got that damn dog. And the funniest thing about the dog was imagining the foley artist who had to work that squeak toy. No, I'm not going to explain myself--go see the movie yourself.

Like Lock Stock, we have numerous characters with their various storylines, finally culminating in a gordian knot that's pretty damn hilarious. Also similar is Ritchie's great play with the medium, using multiple speeds and multiple timelines to change up the proceedings--and it's quite effective. The film feels more confident than the first, and all he needs to do as a director is not make a third film immediately following that's along the same lines--and he'll be in good shape.

Although Statham does very well as the head man among the ensemble, the standout performers are Brad Pitt and Alan Ford. Pitt, in yet another swipe at his archetypal good boy image (as though Fight Club hadn't finished it off), plays a bare-knuckle gypsy boxer, covered with tattoos. His accent is indecipherable--the most clearly understood line of the lot is "I need to have a shite!" Alan Ford, who played the narrator and kindly bartender in Lock Stock, here plays a total sociopath with Coke bottle glasses, who extols the virtues of disposing of corpses by feeding them to pigs. The fact that he was able to play both ends of the spectrum so well makes me alarmed that he's got such a small filmography. Somebody please put this man in more movies.

This is a good, solid film that doesn't fail to please. Worth seeing on the big screen if you can.

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