Notable Cast: Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Farina, Stephen Graham
Review: Why review Snatch. now? Besides the fact that I haven’t gotten out to a new flick in a while, I absolutely love this movie. Favorite movie of all time. Easily Guy Ritchie’s best. Most entertaining heist film I’ve ever seen. Greatest Statham role ever. British humor is hilarious to me. The list goes on. I can’t watch this movie enough times. Snatch. is the one movie that if you haven’t seen, I will make you drop whatever you’re doing and watch it that very second. Guy Ritchie created a heist movie that is effectively action filled, comically hilarious, and created characters in it that I will forever reference. Basically, Ritchie created a cinematic masterpiece that works on multiple levels, along with carrying a swagger in the same vein of a Tarantino movie. You just can’t explain it, but no other movie can match the attitude the director was able to create. But in the case of Snatch., it’s able to back up its too cool and suave swagger with a movie that makes a heist actually look like an enticing opportunity.
So as I mentioned, Snatch. is a heist film that takes place in the seedy London underground. Turkish (Statham) and Tommy (Graham) are managers of local boxer Gorgeous George, who get lured into match fixing by the top underworld hotshot Brick Top (Alan Ford). But when a trailer purchase from some gypsies goes bad, Gorgeous ends up in no condition to fight. So the duo return to the gypsy camp looking for a new fighter, and find him in the feisty and mumbling Mickey (Pitt). Turns out to be a horrible idea because Mickey puts Brick Top’s fighter down in no time, and puts Turkish and Tommy in Brick Top’s debt. Mix that with a stolen diamond that ends up in the hands of some bumbling criminals thanks to the reckless Franky Four-Fingers (Del Toro), an assassin named Bullet-Tooth Tony (Jones) who is sent to retrieve the diamond, American “Cousin” Avi (Farina) who has a low tolerance for bullshit and is the one who hires Tony, a crazy Russian arms dealer/gangster named Boris “the Blade” (Rade Serbedzija), and you get the most unprofessional heist in the history of the world. And most entertaining.
I’d insert a quote if I understood him….
So why do I have an unhealthy obsession with this film? The character acting. Not only did Ritchie put together an amazing cast, but he created phenomenal and unique roles for each character. First that comes to mind is Mickey. Ritchie brought in Brad Pitt to play a character that doesn’t have a coherent sentence the entire film because he speaks “pikey” (Irish Gypsy dialect) But Pitt nails it, and it’s remarkable how fast he can actually talk in the dialect where you have no idea what he just said, but can tell by the reaction of the other characters. Cousin Avi comes in as my second favorite, letting Dennis Farina do what he does best: vulgarly belittle people to their face. “Shut up and sit down, you big, bald fuck. I don’t like leaving my own country, Doug, and I especially don’t like leaving it for anything less than warm sandy beaches, and cocktails with little straw hats.” Doesn’t get much better than that. Number three? Bullet-Tooth Tony. Or Vinnie Jones for that matter. I’m a sucker for any Vinnie Jones role because I think he has the greatest British tough-guy persona of any similar character-actor, but again no character he’s played since has matched the intensity, toughness, or sheer badassery as Bullet-Tooth Tony. He brags about the fact that he was shot 6 times and didn’t die, aka a white 50 Cent. “And the fact that I’ve got “Desert Eagle point five O”…Written down the side of mine…Should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now… Fuck off!” Just remembering these quotes makes me smile. Franky Four-Fingers? Again Del Toro just being crazy. He’s a criminal with a gambling problem, hence “Four-Fingers,” who suffers a sad fate thanks to some bad luck. The over-violent Boris basically runs around the movie trying to kill people in a thick Russian accent. The pawn-shop criminals are too stupid to complete any crimes which is hilarious enough on its own, and then they go bring in a driver named Tyrone who can barely fit in the car and ends up not being able to drive. “It’s a four ton truck, Tyrone. It’s not as if it’s a bag of fucking peanuts, is it?/It was a funny angle./It’s behind you Tyrone. Whenever you reverse, things come from behind you.” Statham and Graham’s characters are actually the most normal, which is a statement when you consider Statham was in Crank. I can go on and on listing hilarious quotes and ranting about how these are some of the greatest characters ever created, but then I’d have about a 5,000 word entry, and with some attention spans reading a 1,000 worder is enough.
What makes this film oh so entertaining is all the subtleties that Ritchie throws in which are hard to catch. The film has a very fast pace to it, making it even harder. His editing is flawless, enhancing the dialogue and bringing out the humor in the scene. For example: when Franky is getting fitted for a suit to wear and having a conversation on the phone about gambling on a fight, the camera cuts quickly back and forth as each side is talking. If you watch, every time it cuts back to Franky, the suit he is wearing changes. The call takes a matter of seconds, yet he is seen wearing about 3 suits. Hard to catch, but if you do it just adds to the insanity of the movie. Ritchie also has fun playing with the dialects, like how the pikeys refer to dogs as “dags.” But along with that, how he doesn’t even have a translator for the fast paced gypsy talk. He just lets the characters suffer through confusion while they are assaulted by a barrage of words. But Ritchie does so much with the little things not technically important to the movie to make them their own jokes. In every single shot, there is no wasted potential.
Sick of hearing my love for Snatch.? (Mind out of the gutter please.) To this day I have not seen a film more enjoyable. It’s sad in a way because I don’t think Ritchie will ever be able to top this gem. He tried with Rock’N'Rolla, but it turned out to just be a second-rate Snatch. Good non the less, but Snatch. will always reign supreme on his resume. The characters, the story, the detail: everything is so spot on here. For such a fast paced film, nothing gets left behind either, and there is a pleasant feeling of satisfaction every time you finish the whole film. And I leave you with this: “For every action, there is a reaction. And a Pikey reaction… is quite a fucking thing.” Moral of the story? Don’t mess with a pikey.
Final Rating: 10 fully earned whatevers out of 10