By STEPHEN EARNEST / October 21, 2010
Guy Ritchie’s previous film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, was a genuine masterpiece. Here is Snatch, a film that uses the same style, sound, and character choice, but doesn’t have quite the same amount of heart. Like Lock, Stock, Snatch has a story that is nearly bewildering. There are several characters involved and all of them have their own, different stories, but by the end, everyone is connected in one way or another. There’s Brad Pitt as a fast-talking gypsy; Rade Serbedzija as an ex-KGB arms dealer; Jason Statham as an unlicensed boxing promoter; Alan Ford as a foul-mouthed gangster; Benicio del Toro as a four-fingered thief and gambling addict; Vinnie Jones as a bullet-toothed mercenary; Dennis Farina as a New York-based jeweler; and Mike Reid as a Jewish diamond dealer. That’s not to the mention countless other thugs, criminals, and lowlifes. Now, there’s a colorful cast.
The main item that has everyone talking happens to be a precious diamond. People start killing each other over it. Foul language is rampant. Coincidence is the name of the game. This kind of incoherent formula worked for Ritchie before, but here, not so much. For me, the biggest problem was the dialogue. Not only was it incomprehensible, but it simply wasn’t funny. Ritchie’s just repeating himself and half of the time, the things that he’s trying to make funny clearly aren’t. The whole exercise has just gotten stale and overused. Essentially, Snatch is the same funny joke told by a completely unfunny person.
Now, I don’t mean to put Ritchie to shame by saying this. The man is a fairly adequate film maker. It’s just that I wasn’t pleased by Snatch at all. I mean, some parts of it are quite enjoyable, but only a few select scenes. Vinnie Jones takes the cake as Bullet-Tooth Tony, but there’s not much else to like — unless you can count Brad Pitt’s jibber-jabber as an acting performance. In the end, I blame the failure of Snatch on the acclaim of Ritchie’s first feature. He realized how good Lock, Stock was and tried to make another movie in the same vein as it. But it’s just not possible. Snatch is almost like a remake. More often than not, remakes are never as good as the original. Case and point.