Failing at Crime – Snatch (2000)

Flashy dashy.  So this is about an unlicensed boxing promoter (Jason Statham) just trying to keep his head above water.  There is a diamond the size of a fist being exchanged, entering and exiting a number of different unsavory hands, and when seedy people get greedy, the situation becomes complicated.  Back in the 90’s, there were a ton of directors who got inspired by Tarantino, and rightfully so.  Between Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, the man put together some of the best and most memorable crime movies of all time.  Guy Ritchie is certainly a byproduct of that era, and Snatch is the best film in his library.  Snatch may be aping Tarantino, but speaking candidly, there isn’t a movie out there that apes him better, and it has the legs to stand on its own.

1Just don’t go into this looking for strong female characters, because you’re not going to find them here.

Now I have heard criticism about this before, with people saying that this is style over substance.  I do somewhat agree with that, but I don’t mean that to be a knock on the substance.  This is drenched in style from the opening credits to the end credits, and it is noticeable in a way that keeps the movie perpetually moving.  Apart from that, there are extremely colorful characters, and they all have witty banter that is consistently being exchanged.  Brad Pitt is playing an unintelligible gypsy character, and that was something that Guy Ritchie threw in there because there were so many critics that complained that they couldn’t understand the cockney accents in the predecessor to this, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  That’s him having fun, and intentionally making a character that even other people within the story have no idea what is being said by him.

2Ya like dags?

It has been seventeen years since this movie was released and it still holds up.  Everything about this is macho and tough guy, and it all flows with fluency.  There is a pleasing cadence to how the dialogue is written, and there is a terrific soundtrack that underlines all of the cool and constant camera tricks.  It is slickly edited together in an inspired way, and if you like manly crime movies, than this is positively a must see.

Snatch (2000) *****

– Critic for Hire


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