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SNATCH

SYNOPSIS:
Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham) have their chance at the big time of unlicensed boxing promotion in a deal with the baddest of guys, Brick Top (Alan Ford). Problem is their fighter, Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt) isn't the most reliable at rigging the fight and soon Brick Top is after revenge. Unable to resist the sure bet was Franky Four Fingers (Benico Del Toro), en route to New York to deliver a huge stolen diamond to his boss Avi (Dennis Farina). Not only does he lose his money, but where's the diamond? Now it's time for Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to get things sorted.

"Guy Ritchie's follow-up to Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels is more of the same - when you've got a hit, why change the formula? Actually, I liked Snatch a good deal more than I liked Lock Stock., but I'm not sure if this is because it's a better movie or just because this time round I knew what to expect. Despite their modish ultra-violence and slick commercial styling, Ritchie's films are less action-thrillers than whimsical comedies set in a timeless London underworld. The show-off dialogue might owe something to Tarentino (the most memorable set-piece here is a grisly monologue about feeding people to pigs) but the quaint nicknames - Boris the Blade, Franky Four-Fingers - are pure Damon Runyon. Ritchie has a lot of fun contrasting the different levels of this fanciful universe and the different types that inhabit them: bumbling amateurs, cool professionals, flamboyant madmen, steely psychopaths, old lags, young go-getters, and the dodgy but decent lads caught in the middle. In this respect, Snatch improves on its predecessor by including a wider range of social and ethnic groups (with space for ambiguous figures like Doug the Head, who's in the diamond trade and therefore tries to convince everyone he's Jewish) and throwing a couple of zany American actors into the mix. Despite (or because of) their varying performance styles, the ensemble cast blend well together - though the complex plot inevitably reduces all the characters to flat counters who can be randomly shuffled round in a series of (often fatal) confrontations. Ritchie's stylistic flourishes, such as throwing the action into fast motion, tend to increase this feeling of jokey detachment. The plot itself, unfortunately, is less well-contrived than that of the earlier film - and the abrupt ending is a distinct anticlimax. But on the whole I'd say the two movies come out about even. So if you liked Lock, StockÖ"
Jake Wilson

"Signwriters around the world breathed a huge sigh of relief when the title of this movie was announced. Because in everything bar name itís Lock Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels Part 2. The identities and stakes may have changed, but the game remains the same. Again we are taken for the ride as small potatoes scammers get fried trying to upgrade to big onions. Yep, the swindlers and sadists and descriptive monikers Ė like Franky Four Fingers Ė are all here; as are the directorial pop-mannerisms: the crisp cutting, freeze frames and close-ups. Even the unintelligible thieves argot is reinvented as Gypsy gibberish. If LS&2SB had more twists than an anaconda practicing yoga, Snatchís narrative is more akin to the curves of a boa with a PhD in contortionism. Itís one big, very crazy, very, very violent slice of cartoon realism. The pace isnít so much snappy as frenetic Ė ideal for the era of the microsecond attention span. Itís a formula, and writer/director Ritchie works it so well that itís just as effective on this second spin. Thereís an absolute dearth of profundity and an absolute surfeit of energy. The huge ensemble of oddball characters and generally chaotic structure donít provide for stand out performances, but all the cast are solid and amusing, Alan Ford camps it up splendidly as Sadistic Bully Numero Uno, and Brad Pitt manages to play a conniving, incoherent gypsy and still come off as Studly the Hero. Basically, this is a film with the artistic merit of a pile of bricks (less actually Ė a pile of bricks was once exhibited at the Tate Gallery), but it sure packs a punch of pure entertainment. Just be sure to bring your appetite for excess."
Brad Green

"Having somehow missed Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, I have to take the word of others that this one is very similar in plot, feel, and casting. So it's difficult to know what all the fuss was about. Director Guy Ritchie seems to have a definite style to his work. It's that post-modernist, fast editing, corner cutting of dialogue, playing with time, mix up of shooting styles thing. And he does it very well. Snatch's opening is great and there are other really terrific moments in the film. The main problem is that the humour doesn't hit the mark often enough and some of the violence is really too violent. The edge is not taken off it sufficiently to produce the laugh over the squirm. Funny bits there are. Avi's trips to and from New York are clever and there's a lovely nod to the mother of Ritchie's child when Bullet Tooth Tony comments "ooh I love this track" as Madonna's Lucky Star is heard on the radio. But, with plotlines crossing left, right, and centre, the film is just too busy to work as a whole. The showiness of the style also inhibits rather than helps. A rather unusual difficulty the film faces is the brilliant work of Brad Pitt as the gypsy boxer Mickey O'Neil. This is Pitt's best performance to date. So much so that he unbalances the film. His scenes light up the whole film. When he's off-screen we simply wait for him to return. There's plenty here for Guy Ritchie and Brad Pitt fans alike. But ultimately the film simply doesn't hang together."
Lee Gough

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 2

SNATCH (MA)
(US)

CAST: Ewen Bremner, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Jason Flemyng, Alan Ford, Stephen Graham, Vinnie Jones, Brad Pitt, Rade Serbedzija, Jason Statham

DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

PRODUCER: Guy Ritchie, Matthew Vaughn

SCRIPT: Guy Ritchie

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Maurice-Jones

EDITOR: John Harris, Jon Harris, Les Healey

MUSIC: John Murphy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 9, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Col Tristar Home Video

VIDEO RELEASE: April 24, 2001







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