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copyright ©1999-2001

flick pick | Snatch 2000
Directed + written by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Benicio del Toro, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Brad Pitt, Rade Sherbedgia, Jason Statham
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under:
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:
action-packed, darkly comic, hip
The critic says: ½/ 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: / 5 

Plot synopsis On his way back to New York with an 84 carat stolen diamond, Franky Four Fingers makes a brief stop in London – or so he originally plans, anyway. One of his Russian partners in the diamond heist has advised him to see Boris the Blade, the Russian’s cousin, supposedly so that Franky can get a new gun. The real plan is to steal the diamond from Franky, but, the cousin warns, Boris can’t do the deed himself -- there must be no way for the New York diamond dealers to trace the theft back to the Russians. So Boris contracts two rather inept pawn brokers to do the dirty work. He sends Franky, who can’t resist the lure of gambling, on a trip to the bookie to place a bet for him on an illegal boxing match, then tells the pawn brokers to wait for Franky there. When they see the four-fingered man with the briefcase enter the bookie’s place, they’re to burst in and hold up the bookie – keeping the bookie’s loot for themselves, and bringing the precious stone back to Boris. Nothing, naturally, goes as planned, and the chain reaction of events that ensues brings Boris, Franky and the pawnbrokers into the convoluted happenings of the world of crime kingpin Brick Top, owner of the bookie shop and a slew of other shady businesses, as well as the organizer of the aforementioned boxing match. Which, actually, is currently the source of a great deal of consternation for Brick Top, since the crazy Irish Gypsy that his promoter Turkish has dug up to fight for him has an irritating habit of refusing to go down as instructed.

Review Snatch is, essentially, a sort of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Redux. The London criminal underworld setting is the same, the clever camerawork and flashy editing likewise … even the characters seem virtually indistinguishable from the quirky thugs and lucky idiots that populate the microcosm of Ritchie’s terrific first film, though their names are different. And again, Ritchie structures his film Pulp Fiction-style, with a handful of very complicated storylines that at first seem scarcely related, but gradually become more clearly connected and neatly entwined as the movie progresses. There’s really nothing new here, but on the other hand, if you’re going to keep regurgitating the same film over and over again, you could do heaps worse. Because when it comes to convoluted, comedic crime capers that are fabulous to look at to boot, Ritchie’s really the only worthy successor to Mr.-Dropped-off-the-Face-of-Hollywood Quentin Tarantino. So is Snatch original? No. But it is undeniably well-done. The cast is fantastic (even Brad Pitt, taking a small role as the fast-talking, hilariously incomprehensible Irish Gypsy, is completely believable), and the dialogue – snappy and crackling with wit – is almost too gloriously good to be true. While Snatch doesn’t have the element of pleasant surprise that Lock,Stock... had going for it – we already know who Ritchie is, and what he’s capable of creating – it still makes for a heck of a fun couple of hours spent in front of the TV screen. —reviewed by Y. Sun   

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