When jewel thief, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro), takes a slight detour to London on route to delivering a huge stolen diamond to his boss in New York, he unwittingly sets off an avalanche of sinister and comic events that wind their way through the rough and tumble worlds of bare-knuckle boxing, Irish gypsies, pawn shops, pig farming and... a stray dog. Snatch, Guy Ritchie's brilliant follow up to his critically acclaimed Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, exposes us to his hip and helter-skelter view of London's gangster underbelly. Ritchie's characteristic fast-paced and constantly twisting story features a madcap ensemble cast of larger-than-life characters, including Jason Statham, an unlicensed boxing promoter; Stephen Graham, his bumbling Sidekick; Alan Ford, the local underworld kingpin; Dennis Farina, Franky's no-nonsense boss; Vinnie Jones, a legendary thug; Rade Sherbedgia, a psycho double-crossing Russian; and Brad Pitt, in a hilarious turn as a fast-talking gypsy bare-knuckle boxer.
Usually it might seem a tad unfair to begin a review by referring to the director's missis. But then the missis in question wouldn't usually be Madonna--a woman whose ability to reinvent herself several times before breakfast seems in marked contrast to that of hubby Guy Ritchie. Certainly, this follow-up to the filmmaker's breakthrough film--the high-energy, expletive-strewn cockney-gangster movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels--hardly breaks new ground being, well, another high-energy, expletive-strewn cockney-gangster movie. OK, so there are some differences. This time around our low-rent hoodlums are battling over dodgy fights and stolen diamonds rather than dodgy card games and stolen drugs. There has been some minor reshuffling of the cast too, with Sting and Dexter Fletcher making way for the more bankable Benicio Del Toro and Brad Pitt, the latter pretty much stealing the whole shebang as an incomprehensible Irish gypsy. And, sure, people who really, really liked Lock, Stock--or have the memory of a goldfish--will really, really like this. The suspicion lingers, however, that if the director doesn't do something very different next time around then his career may prove to be considerably shorter than that of his missis. --Clark Collis