“They look the shit, don’t they? And nobody is gonna argue. And I’ve got some extra loud blanks, just in case.”
Imagine, if you will, a film with the wit and bite of Pulp Fiction, the cool factor of Ocean’s Eleven, and a pleasant British disposition, and you’ll be pretty close to Snatch. Written and directed by Guy Ritchie (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) and starring Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Benicio Del Toro, this is a witty and entertaining British crime film with a lot to offer. With snappy and hilarious dialogue, great actor performances, a clever directorial style, and a tight plot, I can’t really think of anything bad to say about this film.
The plot follows a pair of underground boxing promoters who set out to buy a discount trailer off of a group of gypsies. Things escalate and it turns into a boxing match between the promoters’ star boxer and an unknown gypsy. When the star boxer is taken out of commission right before a big fight, the promoters struggle to find a replacement before Brick Top, the bookie/crime lord, has them killed. And when the fight doesn’t go as it was rigged to, they find themselves in bigger trouble.
Your seats? Tyrone, this is a stolen car, mate.
It’s hard not to draw a comparison to director Ritchie’s previous film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Ritchie had grown and matured before making Snatch, so most of what the first film did, this film does as well or better. The script is funnier and the execution a little more polished—this is definitely a laugh-out-loud funny film, and Ritchie’s signature style is more sophisticated as well. The only thing that’s not done as well is the script, which isn’t quite as intricate, although it’s still a few notches above your average crime film. All the actor performances are also great—particularly Brad Pitt’s gypsy character Mickey—which makes everything else better.
Is it entertaining? This is one of the most entertaining crime films I’ve ever seen. The mix of offbeat British humor, gritty underworld crime, memorable characters, and smart dialogue is a tough package to beat, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a crime film that’s as enjoyable, and funny, as this one. It’s gripping not for the suspense (although there is some of that here), but just because you really want to see what these characters will do next. It’s not a simple plot, but it feels straightforward because of the flawless execution, and that’s quite an achievement.
Snatch is a smart crime film with great comedic bits, light enough for a movie night and entertaining enough to please almost anyone, as long as they’re OK with the hard R rating. As far a pure entertainment, I have more fun watching this film than Goodfellas or The Godfather. If you like crime films and want something quirky and funny, this should be one of the first films you reach for.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Genres: comedy, crime