Saturday, September 19, 2009

#466: Snatch (2000)

Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford, Rade Serbedzija, Ade, Robbie Gee, Lennie James, Dennis Farina & Benicio Del Toro

Snatch is an action-packed, witty, gritty movie with two stories being interwoven. The first story is following the movements of criminals trying to get their hands on a recently stolen 86-karat diamond. After being brought to London, a former KGB agent hires a trio of stupidity-laden thieves to rob a bookie and retrieve the diamond. Meanwhile, a gangster threatens a boxing promoter when the promoter's most recently found fighter fails to intentionally lose the match, which the gangster had planned to rig.

While glancing through Rotten Tomatoes, I came across Tarantino's name a lot. Loads of people are discrediting Guy Ritchie for this film because the style reflects Tarantino's throughout. I, on the other hand, must disagree. The only similarity I can find is a high level of grittiness in combination with a witty dialogue. Aside from that, none of Tarantino's trademarks are to be seen (such as blood being splattered everywhere, a retro soundtrack, and any kind of color scheme throughout the film).

The character probably most remembered for this film is Brad Pitt's role as Mickey, a gypsy with a completely unintelligible accent. His character is completely ludicrous, but somehow believable at the same time. The accent alone is not traceable, but there's no doubt that it sounds authentic.

There's really nothing outstanding about the film-making of Snatch, but it holds its own as an incredibly entertaining film with brilliantly colorful characters. One-and-a-half thumbs up.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • Every mistake that Sol, Vincent and Tyrone make were inspired by various late-night TV shows about real-life crimes gone horribly wrong.
  • When Guy Ritchie told Brad Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club(1999) and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt book the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.
  • During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs (1992), where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song "Like a Virgin".
  • According to the DVD commentary, Bow, the dog was very difficult to work with. During car scene with Vincent, Sol and Tyrone, the dog was actually attacking Lennie James, and James was actually bitten in the crotch by the dog but didn't suffer any serious injury. The dog was replaced after that incident.
  • Brad Pitt's character and indecipherable speech was inspired by many critics' complaints about the accents of the characters in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Guy Ritchie decided to counter the criticisms by creating a character that not only couldn't be understood by the audience but the also couldn't be understood by characters in the movie.

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