Snatch is a hilarious look into the dealings of hapless, pathetic criminals in England. We're talking about getaway drivers who can't parallel park, gangsters who take off their masks inside the place they're trying to rob and stare right into the security camera by accident, and thugs who, driven by either stupidity or cheapness, buy replica guns in lieu of ones with real bullets in them. The bravado that the two guys with fake guns have is funny, but it's even more hilarious after their would-be victim notices that their guns are fake, tells them to f*ck off, and they walk away with their heads hanging down.
The story is pretty good and it's one of those where a whole bunch of people end up getting involved in one series of criminal hijinks. The main thing is that some guy named Franky Four-Fingers who's supposed to sell some huge diamond in England for his boss in New York. Franky has a bad-a*s Russian named Boris the Bullet Dodger coming after him. And he also has a gambling addiction worse than Cosmo Kramer's, so he gets a little sidetracked. I'll spare you the details, but a stray dog ends up eating the diamond and you meet a lot of real characters along the way. Brick Top, the mob guy that literally feeds his enemies to the pigs. Tommy, the guy who seems way too sweet to be a gangster (when gunshots are fired in one scene, he has a scared-to-death look on his face, and he's kind of holding the guy next to him). Mickey (Brad Pitt), the gypsy bare-knuckled boxing champion who bets on himself in a match where he's supposed to go down in the 4th (and if this movie and Pulp Fiction are any indication, this is a common thing in illegal boxing). Tyrone is the terrible getaway driver mentioned before. Turkish is the narrator and is the most normal one. He and Tommy end up with the diamond by sheer luck; Tommy just thought the dog was cute and took him home.
As an American and a loather of the British accent (I'm sorry; I just think it sounds snotty), this movie was annoying in that aspect but wasn't too bad. I couldn't understand what the gypsies were saying most of the time, but then again neither could the other characters. It is a bit strange for phrases like "You want to see if I've got the min'rals?" to be used instead of "You want to see if I've got the balls?", but hey. It's tolerable.
Organized crime movies tend to focus on the competent. The Michael Corleones make for interesting movies, but they can't crack you up like Sol and Vince do (although they call each other by name way too often, I've noticed. Or maybe I'm just weird. Unless I'm trying to get a friend's attention, I don't really use names at all...)
Vince: "What the f*ck do you mean replicas?"
Sol: "They look the sh*t, don't they? And nobody is going to argue. And I got extra loud blanks just in case."
Vince: "Oh, in case we have to deafen them to death?"
The scene when they try to rob the bookie's is great:
Bookie: Do you know who this bookie belongs to?
Vince: Look if you know what's good for you, you'll give me everything you've-
Worker presses a button, security windows pop up, taking Vince's arm with them and leaving him dangling off the ground. Sol notices the commotion and heads over. Oh, and he's got a shotgun with him.
Sol: Vince, what are you doing up there?
Vince: What does it look like I'm doing?...And it's starting to hurt!
Sol shoots the wall, making a hole in it, but the debris hurts him in the process. After collecting himself, he pokes his gun through it and forces the worker to turn off the security windows. Vince falls to the ground.
Sol: How are you doing, Vince?
Vince: I'd be a lot better if you stopped using my name.
Sol (to worker): Show that bag.
Worker: All bets are off.
Sol (pointing gun at worker): I'm not here to make a f*cking bet!
Worker (pointing to the board): I appreciate it but all bets are off. If all bets are off, then there can't be any money, can there?
Eventually Sol starts counting what's in the small bag of coins that the worker hands over, but he stupidly puts down his gun on the counter, so she grabs it, takes a shot at Sol and Vince and turns on the security window.
Robbing a place on the wrong day. Great scene.
Stylistically, I'm not too big of a fan of this movie. I don't like freeze frames, letters flashing into your face, and any of the other bells and whistles. Acting seems good enough for me, even pretty boy Brad Pitt.
This is a greatly entertaining movie, and is probably the best organized crime action comedy that I know of. Goodfellas had an obvious moral: don't do narcotics if you're going to be a gangster. The Godfather had a similar moral. Casino taught us that Joe Pesci is bad news. Snatch is much more lighthearted and so there's no obvious lesson to be learned.
Except maybe "don't bite off more than you can chew."
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