Snatch (2000)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime


Snatch (2000) Poster

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

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8.3/10
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  • Alan Ford at an event for Snatch (2000)
  • Adam Fogerty and Stephen Graham in Snatch (2000)
  • Anne Heche at an event for Snatch (2000)
  • Dennis Farina and Vinnie Jones in Snatch (2000)
  • Stephen Graham in Snatch (2000)
  • Ali Larter at an event for Snatch (2000)

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14 January 2001 | Shiva-11
8
| Lock, Stock, and Many Smoking Barrels
The release of Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" in 1994 prompted a schism in the staid gangster movie genre: the standard hallmarks - serious characters, gunfights, intrigue and damsels in distress - were enhanced with snappy dialogue, and gallows humour. The biggest change however was the introduction of the mobius strip-style plot line, where the concept of time is no longer linear, instead constantly folding in upon itself, flitting between past, present and future that forces the viewer to pay close attention lest they miss some subtle detail. Inevitably, numerous copycat films emerged that tried to capitalize on Tarantino's success, but it wasn't until 1998 when Guy Ritchie, an unknown British director, took on the challenge that a successor was found. Now Ritchie is determined to prove that his first time out wasn't a fluke.

Turkish is a young man with an entrepreneurial bent, who, when he's not running his gambling operation, manages bareknuckle boxers. Through a business deal gone wrong, he becomes acquainted with one Mickey O'Neil, a mumbling manic motor-mouthed piker who also happens to be a one-punch marvel. Turkish persuades Mickey to join his stable of fighters, but soon discovers that Mickey has his own agenda, and gets Turkish in trouble with the gangsters who run the underground boxing circuit. Other characters that become involved in the drama include a four-fingered degenerate gambler/jewel thief, a vicious boxing promoter, a gang of inept robbers, a polite hitman, a crazed Russian gun runner, a group of Irish gypsies, a crooked New York jeweler and a pugnacious pet. The common thread binding them all is a perfect diamond the size of a peach pit. If you aren't confused yet, you soon will be.

"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", Mr. Madonna's (Ritchie) first film, was shot on a small budget, with a no-name cast (except for football bad boy Vinnie Jones) and quickly became a rousing success at home and found receptive audiences abroad. While not a technically a sequel "Snatch" is stylistically very similar to "Lock, Stock…": Ritchie utilizes his trademark bombastic staccato sequences, and repeatedly bounces off on radical tangents to throw the viewer off balance. He did however opt for a decidedly darker satirical tone in this film, that may make some people uncomfortable (think "Very Bad Things"). What struck me as particularly daring was his decision to create a story with such a voluminous cast.

Ritchie faced a daunting task with this film: how, with roughly twenty principal characters, does one adequately flesh out each character, and not hopelessly confuse the audience? The feat was made doubly difficult, as several cast members are big name stars. Somehow Ritchie manages - each actor is full bodied, receives ample screen time, and no one character is the centerpiece. With so many talented actors, it is difficult to pick out one performance that stands out: Rade Serbedzija is hilarious as the mad Russian who blithely burns through each of his nine lives, as is Vinnie Jones' manic gentleman hitman. On the other end of the spectrum, is Alan Ford as Brick Top, the promoter with a penchant for pigs, who epitomizes cold-blooded viciousness. If forced to pick my favorite however, I would have to go with Brad Pitt

Pitt resurrects his trailer trash look from "Kalifornia" and adopts a nearly indecipherable brogue that sounds like my best friend's Uncle Wally on a bad day. As Mickey O'Neil, the hard drinking wily grifter and part-time pugilist, Pitt displays a wide range of emotions, demonstrating again that he is not only a star, but also a gifted character actor. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the dog that subtly stole every scene he appeared in.

While "Snatch" initially struggles to find its stride, and is very similar to Ritchie's earlier film, it is fresh and funny enough to make you forget any minor shortfalls and stand on its own.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Brick Top Polford was originally offered to Dave Courtney.


Quotes

Turkish: My name is Turkish. Funny name for an Englishman, I know. My parents to be were on the same plane when it crashed. That's how they met. They named me after the name of the plane. Not many people are named after a plane crash. That's Tommy. He tells ...


Goofs

The exterior shot prior to the scene where Turkish, Tommy, and Gorgeous George are playing cards in the caravan before the last fight is obviously taken from the beginning of the movie since it shows the door in place and Charlie outside cooking sausages. (In several scenes in between the door is clearly standing against the caravan after Turkish pulled it off.)


Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the names are shown on the surveillance screens.


Alternate Versions

UK R2 Special Edition DVD features six deleted scenes:

  • Turkish and Tommy go to a pub to meet Brick Top for the first time;
  • Sol and Vinnie try to open Franky Four Fingers' briefcase before Boris the Blade comes to pick it up. They finally get Franky to open it and he manages to get the gun Boris gave him out of it, but the gun doesn't work;
  • Errol and John (Brick Top's henchmen) go talk to Mullet to find out who robbed the bookies;
  • Bullet Tooth Tony and Avi go to Brick-Top's pub to meet him. Tony has a beef with Errol has to draw a sword to keep Brick Top's henchmen them at bay;
  • Brick Top tries to sell Avi the diamond that Sol and Vinny gave him. Avi examines the stone and immediately figures out it's a fake (the same one Lincoln tried to pawn at the beginning of the movie). He throws it into a wall, where it smashes into little pieces. Meanwhile Sol and Vinny, who are locked into Brick Top's office, keep arguing and trying to escape;
  • Vinny and Sol go to the pikeys' camp to find the dog and ask Mickey if he's seen him, but the dog's not there.


Soundtracks

Disco Science
Written by
Mirwais Ahmadzaï and Kim Deal
Performed by Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Courtesy of Naïve/Sine, a division of Sony Music Entertainment UK
Contains a sample of "Cannonball" by The Breeders
Courtesy of 4AD and Warner Elektra

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Crime

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