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Catch Snatch

Diamonds and gambling. Guns and boxing. This is the stuff of director Guy Ritchie's latest movie, Snatch, which spans the spectrum of shady characters and sketchy activity. It travels to Antwerp, New York and London and inhabits a world full of Jews, Russians, Gypsies and nasty Brits.

The narrator of this sordid, tangled tale is Turkish (Jason Statham). This handsome gentleman and his sidekick Tommy (Stephen Graham) are boxing promoters who get entangled with a viscous colleague, with a penchant for pigs and creative torture, called Brick Top (Alan Ford). While Turkish and Tommy are trying to communicate with wily Irish gypsy Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt), a Russian thief with a bad gambling habit by the name of Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) heists a giant diamond. He needs to get the stone to his boss, Avi (Dennis Farina), in New York buts hits a couple of detours along the way.

The diversions come in the form of three clumsy, dysfunctional fellows, Vinny (Robbie Gee), Sol (Lennie James) and Tyrone (Ade), who are hired by the indestructible Boris "The Blade" (Rade Sherbedgia) to rip off the gem in question.

Ritchie introduces those involved with cartoonish charm, one of the numerous wacky elements used to add an almost slapstick edge to the film. Snatch also has hyper-kinetic camerawork that boils just over the edge of mind numbing MTV effects. Some might think it's too flashy, but the movie has enough cajones to back up its strutting images. One of the most delightful aspects of the film are its flashbacks, portrayed as a series of memories captured in the form of Polaroid snapshots in which whole lifetimes and six-hour trans-Atlantic flights are summarized in mere seconds. Along with such creative structuring, the beauty of the film lays in its details, such as a cell phone whose ring beeps out Hava Negilla and playing cards displaying naked ladies.

The comic relief is provided by an inaudible Brad Pitt, Farina as a very frustrated diamond dealer, the idiot thieves and their dog, who all seem to wreak large amounts of havoc. There is a moment including Boris and a scary bloke called "Bullet Tooth" Tony (Vinnie Jones) that is reminiscent of a scene from Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail in which an overzealous knight taunts one of the crusaders.

While there is plenty to laugh at, Ritchie also captivates you by adding in a couple of grandiose episodes such as an exquisite scene in which hounds chase around a frantic rabbit just as Tyrone is hunted down by Brick Top's goons; the timing and spliced edits are perfectly done.

Snatch sports a great soundtrack that precisely denotes the various aspects of the movie, including an old school track from Ritchie's wife Madonna. There is much aestheticized chaos and even more brutal violence, especially during the bare-knuckle boxing matches. Its style is similar to that of Ritchie's first film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Although there are several conversations when you might need a translator, this movie hits the mark--it's funny, witty and downright sexy.


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Snatch
Rated R
1 hour 43 minutes

Brad Pitt
Dennis Farina
Jason Statham
Jason Flemyng
Benicio Del Toro


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