After a Jewish gangster steals an 86-carat diamond from a jewellery exchange in Antwerp and returns to London, a whole variety of criminals suddenly decide that they want to get their hands on the precious stone and will stop at nothing to get what they want. This sets off the crazy chain of events that provides "Snatch" with its highly complicated plot that unfolds at high speed and delivers lots of laughs, snappy dialogue and copious amounts of violence. Its large cast of eccentric characters adds plenty of colour and profanity and the whole piece is so well-written and narrated that any conversational exposition is kept to an absolute minimum. When gambling addict Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro), who'd carried out the heist in Antwerp returns to London and decides that he wants to buy a gun, one of his gang members, who happens to be related to an ex-KGB agent called Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia), puts Franky in touch with his relative who's also a gun dealer. The diamond heist had been masterminded by a shady New York businessman known as Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina) and Franky had been instructed to deliver the diamond to Avi's London associate, Doug the Head (Mike Reid). Knowing this, Boris realizes that he must relieve Franky of the diamond before it can be passed to Doug. Unlicensed boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) arranges for one of his fighters to take part in a match that he's set up with fellow promoter and notorious crime boss Brick Top (Alan Ford) but when his fighter can't compete after being injured in a confrontation with an Irish gypsy called Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt), Turkish needs a replacement and the gypsy is the obvious choice. After striking a deal with Mickey and receiving instructions from Brick Top for the gypsy to take a dive in the forth round, the fight goes ahead but doesn't end as planned. Boris the Blade acquires a gun for Franky and offers to waive any payment for it on condition that Franky places a bet for him on a boxing match. Franky agrees to do this at a bookie's that's owned by Brick Top and Boris hires a gang of grossly incompetent criminals to steal the diamond which Franky keeps in a briefcase that's handcuffed to his wrist. Brick Top is not amused by what transpires at his betting shop and in order to save their skins, the gang that Boris hired also go in search of the diamond so that they can steal it for Brick Top. On hearing that Franky had gone missing, Cousin Avi immediately comes to London and he and Doug recruit Bullet Tooth (Vinnie Jones) to use his persuasive powers to locate Franky. Brick Top is a particularly vicious piece of work who imposes his will on other people by the use of threats and extreme violence but when he makes an enemy of Mickey, he completely underestimates the reaction of his adversary and the gypsy community and in so doing, makes the biggest mistake of his life. "Snatch" is a lot of fun and although the influence of Quentin Tarantino is never far away, it's most noticeable during the diamond heist when the thieves indulge in an extended discussion about the consequences of a mistake made by the Septuagint scholars who incorrectly translated the Hebrew word for "young woman" into the Greek word for "virgin". Other examples follow when Brick Top gives an extended explanation of the meaning of the word "nemesis" and a full description of how effectively pigs can be used to dispose of dead bodies. The whole production is highly stylized and this brilliantly facilitates all the wackiness that's perpetrated by its large-than-life characters who are brought to life in a whole series of crazy, over-the-top performances. Rade Sherbedgia's eccentric facial contortions are a marvellous manifestation of Boris' lunacy, Dennis Farina's constant state of panic highlights Cousin Avi's extreme level of anxiety and Brad Pitt, with a strange hybrid accent that no-one can understand, is absolutely hilarious as the fighter whose actions are so spontaneous that even he doesn't seem to know what he might do next. With its frenetic pace, fast editing and colourful characters, "Snatch" is exceptionally energetic, action-packed and so full of humour that watching it becomes a breathless but also tremendously entertaining experience.
Comedy / Crime
Comedy / Crime
Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.
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April 12, 2019