Main cast: Benicio del Toro (Franky Four Fingers), Dennis Farina (Cousin Avi), Vinnie Jones (Bullet Tooth Tony), Brad Pitt (“One Punch” Mickey O’Neil), Rade Šerbedžija (Boris the Blade), Jason Statham (Turkish), Stephen Graham (Tommy), Alan Ford (Brick Top), Ewen Bremner (Mullet), Jason Flemyng (Darren), Robbie Gee (Vinny), Lennie James (Sol), and Ade (Tyrone)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Snatch sounds like a pornographic movie, and one with Brad Pitt in it can’t be too bad a way to spend an afternoon. But alas, it is anything but a skin flick. Brad Pitt takes off his shirt a lot though, although I never find him interesting.
I don’t know how to summarize this story without giving away the entire story. Suffice to say, it is like Pulp Fiction with a British accent. It revolves around the lives of the following people.
Turkish and Tommy need to persuade Mickey O’Neil (Brad Pitt sporting a cute daffy accent) to play a rigged boxing match or their boss Brick Top would feed them to pigs. Unfortunately, Mickey just keeps winning. Elsewhere, Frankie Four Fingers has robbed a precious gem and is making a pit stop in London on his way to deliver the goods to Cousin Avi in USA. He decides to make a brief stop at a bookie.
Boris the Blade hires three silly buffoons to grab the gem from Frankie and the dimwits botch things up. Cousin Avi decides to drop by in London and hires Bullet Tooth Tony to help him recover the gem.
And naturally, everyone’s lives collide in a spectacular explosion of gratuitous firepower, violence, and bizarre coincidences. Sounds like fun.
Well, Dennis Farina is marvelous as a fed-up, cynical mob boss who loathes everything English. When an US customs officer asks him, “Anything to declare?” he answers, “Yeah, don’t go to England.” Jason Statham and Stephen Graham play off each other well as the befuddled yet practical mobster and his dimwitted sidekick. Brad Pitt is pretty good too as a boxer whom no one can understand.
But Snatch is too gimmicky and polished for its own good. It knows it is clever, and that is where the problem lies. The amazing coincidences, the gimmicky death scenes, and even the names of the characters all scream, “Look Ma, I’m smart! I’m clever!” Guy Ritchie seems more concerned with setting up elaborate premises and tying up characters in the most gimmicky ways than the actual plot and character development itself. As a result, the characters are one-note caricatures of eccentricities, and the movie doesn’t have anything to say except to demonstrate the size of the director-cum-screenwriter’s ego. Wait, it does tell me to be nice to doggies, and I guess that’s something.