Well, it looks like he's done it again: working off the ever-so-reasonable
and oh so underused maxim "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", cockney
geezer director Guy "Madonna" Ritchie has just bestowed our multiplexes
with his latest offering, Snatch. To get things absolutely straight,
Snatch is not a movie about East End porn stars and their way of life;
it's a movie about jewel thieves, fixed boxing matches, gibbering
Irish Gypsies and big guns.
So it's certainly different to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Or is it? Well, it's set in a different realm of the mob, with different
ethnic minorities being poked fun at (Gypsies and Jews rather than
Scousers and Yahs), and its got far more explosions and pyrotechnics.
It's also got even more star appearances than ever before, from Usual
Suspect Benicio Del Toro to the Devil's Own himself, Brad Pitt. And
maybe that's where you think, hang on, is this a Hollywood movie or
a British Crime caper? The short answer is, it's a Hollywood movie.
But the truth as I see it is that in fact, it's a very clever move
by Guy Ritchie who's managed to enter the big boys' playground while
doing things exactly the way he wants to, à la limey.
Snatch sometimes suffers from roller coaster syndrome, in that it
has a few paceless scenes. It also suffers from over stylisation:
maybe Ritchie is sometimes being too clever with his camera angles
and slow mo moments (a little like Almadovar on speed)
But at the end of the day, Snatch still features some brilliant performances
from the eclectic cast, particularly Brad Pitt (although to be fair,
who are we to judge his impersonation of a Pikey?) and Robbie Gee,
and while Vinnie Jones is unlikely to be Sam Mendès' first
choice for his follow up to American Beauty, you can't help but take
a certain sadistic pleasure in watching him inspire fear in an unlikely
bunch of muggers. As for the soundtrack, well, it's obviously as important
to Guy Ritchie as it is to Quentin Tarantino: there are some great
tracks here, both new and old, and alongside a punchy script that's
featured on the album, it's sure to be a popular buy in the record
shops straight away.
You'll enjoy Snatch because if you don't, you've probably had your
sense of humour surgically removed.