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Review: Snatch (2000)

Snatch (2000)

Directed by: Guy Richie

Premise: Two underground boxing promoters (Jason Statham and Stephen Graham) attempt to resolve their obligations to crime lord Brick Top (Alan Ford). At the same time, other groups of criminals attempt to get their hands on a stolen diamond.

What Works: Snatch was one the first and most prominent films early in this decade to feature a large cast of colorful characters in split narratives and it still stands as one of the best of these kinds of stories, combining the comedy of errors, organized crime, sport, and heist genres with interesting characters and avant garde filmmaking techniques. What separates Snatch from imitators such as Lucky Number Slevin and Smokin’ Aces is its dedication to a coherent narrative. The film locates its story around Turkish and Tommy, two distinct characters who are engaging protagonists, and has a clear antagonist (Ford) who cuts across the different narratives. The performances in the film are very good, especially by Brad Pitt as Mickey, a bare hands boxing champion from a gypsy camp. Pitt stretches himself in ways he hasn’t in other performances and he is a great source of humor and sadness in the film.

What Doesn’t: The film is fundamentally a British comedy and some may find Snatch obnoxious, especially in the film’s frantic editing techniques. 

DVD extras: The two-disc deluxe edition features a commentary track, pikey subtitles, documentaries, deleted scenes, photo gallery, storyboard, booklet, and a deck of playing cards.

Bottom Line: Snatch is a film that exudes creativity disciplined by wise storytelling decisions. The film is a great deal of fun, but it is also crafted with a serious sense for the dramatic, making it more than just an exercise in style. Although the film is likely to get polarized reactions, with viewers either loving it or hating it, Snatch remains an admirable piece of work.

Episode: #128 (February 4, 2007)