Starring: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Brad Pitt
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 102 mins
Snatch is a British film following a series of convoluted events in the London gangland, one surrounding the search for a stolen diamond, and the other the mishaps when two men working as underground boxing promoters end up in the pocket of a ruthless gangster.
In at times an almost identical vein to Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie’s brilliant take on the gangster genre shines through once again in Snatch. Absolutely hilarious and fantastically violent from start to finish, it’s a hugely entertaining watch at every moment, and with an ensemble of exaggerated East End personas, there’s always something mad going off in this movie.
Now, in my opinion, this isn’t quite as good as Lock Stock. It doesn’t tie up as insane a story, and nor does it have some of the brilliant characters and dialogue from that film. However, the great thing about Snatch is that it does everything it wants to do perfectly, with an absolutely brilliant sense of humour, going far further with a darkly comedic take on gangsters than Lock Stock, and its own caperish story that makes for a massively entertaining watch.
Nowhere does that manic and high-octane vibe shine through more than in Guy Ritchie’s directing. Far more stylised than Lock Stock, Snatch is full of all sorts of visual madness, from the endless quick cuts to some fantastic transitions, and although it may place the film firmly in its time period at the turn of the 21st Century, it’s a vibe that’s confidently carried out, and adds a lot to the overall sense of madness in the story.
The story itself is great fun too. Again taking the simultaneous story concept and making it work like clockwork, watching the two separate plots regularly weave in and out of one another so freely, something that’s incredibly impressive to pull off, makes for a hugely exciting watch, and with the threat of endless and brutal violence to the main characters, the film always has you on the edge of your seat, simply because absolutely anyone could get killed off within the blink of an eye.
But don’t think that this is any sort of serious thriller, because the main objective of Snatch is to provide you with an entertaining hour and a half of gangland killings and convoluted dealings and betrayals. In that, the violence is deliberately exaggerated, but done in a fantastically entertaining way, and although it may not be for everyone, this is the sort of film that fans of the gangster genre can sit back and have a great time with, all the while being riveted by a brilliantly-written story.
It’s a marvel how Ritchie manages to get these complex plots to work so well, but it really makes for a memorably manic watch. Something else that furthers that atmosphere is the brilliantly over-the-top performances. From the unintelligible gypsy played by Brad Pitt to the excessively aggressive and sadistic mob boss played by Alan Ford, the film is filled to the brim with comical characters that will both make you laugh and still add well to the story.
Snatch isn’t a serious gangster film, but it manages to bring comedy and crime together just as well as any other, and with those excellent performances, unique directing and amazingly-written story, it makes for hugely entertaining watch from start to finish, which is why I’m giving it an 8.2 overall.