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Snatch


This movie is really something else… Waitaminute, no it isn’t! It might have been if it had been released before 1994. i.e. before “Pulp Fiction”, one of the movies it shamelessly rips off (along with “Get Shorty”, “Trainspotting” and Guy Ritchie’s own “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”). Coming out today, after countless other movies trying to dance to Tarantino’s tune, “Snatch” holds little surprise. Nothing here we haven’t seen before. When a movie tries to be fast and furious ends up feeling tired and lukewarm, that can’t be too good.

So you’ve got this large gallery of cartoonesque low-lives with funny names in and around London. There’s Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro), a thief with a gambling problem who’s stolen a 84 carat diamond for Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina), but first he goes to have it checked out for faux-Jewish jeweller Doug the Head (Mike Reid) in London. He also goes to buy a gun from Russian arms dealer Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia), who sends him to place a bet at one of the bookies of Brick Top (Alan Ford), a sinister fella who runs illegal boxing matches, dogfights and the such. Oh, and he feeds bad debt payers to his pigs. Charming guy, really… Anyways, Boris is really only setting Franky up to get jumped and robbed of the diamond by a trio of not too smart African-British thugs (Robbie Gee, Lennie James and the very fat Ade) he hired. The robbery will prompt Avi to fly to London and hire hitman Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find the precious stone. Meanwhile Brick Top is orchestrating his next rigged fight with boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham), but a problem comes up when one of the boxers winds up in the hospital and must be replaced by Mickey One Punch (Brad Pitt), a Gipsy bare-knuckle fighter who speaks an intelligible sorta Irish slang…

And then… Well, a lot of mayhem, double-crosses, ultra-violence, triple-crosses and general craziness ensues. The movie, as written and directed by Ritchie with lots of crooked humor and dynamic visuals, should be a lot of fun, but it isn’t. It’s merely sort of fun. There is hip dialogue, some really cool music, dazzling storytelling, colorful characters, sudden bursts of violence often played for laughs. All the Tarantino trademarks, basically, except that it’s not nearly as enjoyable, inventive or clever. There are some hysterical scenes (mostly those involving the enjoyably badass Vinnie Jones or Brad Pitt’s mumbling tattooed hard-ass goofball), but a lot of the movie is only mildly entertaining and some of it just drags. You might wanna wait for the video and watch it with some buddies over some beers.