Rated: R
Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones

Murder and mayhem has never been presented in a funnier fashion than it is here in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. This is a crime caper filled with oddball characters who perform astonishing feats of bungling that will leave you laughing and smacking your head in delight. Ritchie’s style is fast and furious with editing techniques like split screens and sped up motion that, along with special title effects, which in this case, actually work to the film’s advantage. There are two main stories with characters intersecting each other every which way resulting in true hilarity.

The film starts out with the heist of an 84-carat diamond from a Jewish jeweler in London by Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) who’s trying to smuggle it back to Avi (Dennis Farina), his Jewish boss in New York City. Meanwhile, Russian mobster (Rade Serbedzija), hires a couple of jokers who run a pawn shop (Robbie Gee, Lennie James) to steal the diamond away from Franky.

The second story line involves boxing promoters Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham) who get involved with gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) who sets an upcoming match for their man Gorgeous George. When Gorgeous is injured, Turkish gets the bright idea of using Mickey (Brad Pitt – back in lean fighter physique as in Fight Club), an Irish bare-knuckle champion to take Gorgeous’ place. Mickey is part of a band of wandering gypsies and sports a slummy accent that keeps everyone guessing, including the audience, as to what he’s saying. It’s very funny and you make out enough of what’s being said to get the jokes. That goes for the rest of the movie as well since most of the actors have heavy lower-class accents. Feeling slighted over the replacement of Gorgeous by the boxing hustlers, Brick Top orders Turkish and Tommy to get Mickey to take a dive. Good luck.

When Franky and the diamond turn up missing, Avi hires Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to settle matters. The action is full speed ahead with gangsters, thugs and idiots bumbling and stumbling their way into more trouble and mayhem than any single movie deserves.

Lotta says Snatch is a blast. It’s written and directed by Guy Ritchie. Rated R for strong violence, language, and some nudity.

Reviewed 2/2/01