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Snatch (2000)

Snatch., Snatch: Pigs and Diamonds

Stealin’ stones and breakin’ bones

Directed by:

Guy Ritchie

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom, United States

‘Snatch’ may have an extremely complicated plot, but it takes just one word to sum it up: messy.

Guy Ritchie wowed his audience two years previously with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but this follow-up (featuring a similar cast but different characters) comes across as little more than an ego-driven exercise by a director guilty of believing his own hype. In fact, were it not for some thoroughly entertaining performances on the part of the actors involved – most notably Brad Pitt in a brilliant turn as jive-talking gypsy boxer – ‘Snatch’ would come pretty close to being a total write-off.

The bulk of the problem is that what was inventive and quirky in ‘Lock, Stock, etc’ swiftly wears thin this time around. From Vinnie Jones’ hardman act, to the ridiculously-named gangsters (“Brick Top”, “Doug the Head” and “Frankie Four Fingers”??), to the massively convoluted storyline, we’ve seen it all before. But none of it grows tiresome more swiftly than Ritchie’s constant “look at me” approach to directing. Quick camera changes, captions flashing up on the screen, awkward stints of narration – can the man not just let us watch his film in peace?

Even attempting to explain the plot here seems pointless, but in a nutshell it centres around the attempts of two underground boxing promoters (Jason Statham and Stephen Graham) to fix a fight in order to please a deeply-dodgy bookie (Alan Ford). In the meantime, a big ol’ diamond bounces between various criminal factions, a dog swallows a squeaky toy, and Mike Reid pretends to be Jewish.

I’d like to say that if you liked ‘Lock, Stock’ you’ll like this, but it’s more likely you’ll see it as a blatant – not to mention inferior – copy. Part of the reason ‘Lock, Stock’ was so popular was its feeling of freshness and imagination. It created a genuine sense that here was a director willing to take a few risks and do things differently. In ‘Snatch’, Ritchie only succeeds in proving you can re-create many things, but originality isn’t one of them.

It's Got: A novel use for pigs.

It Needs: To explain why the police always take so long to turn up.

DVD Extras Director’s commentary, deleted scenes (three of which can be inserted back into the movie), web-link, trailers, a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast interviews, TV spots, production notes, filmographies, jump-to-a-song facility, stills gallery, storyboard comparisons, and even some hidden goodies. DVD Extras Rating: 10/10

Summary

Lock, stock and no new ideas.

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