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Starring Benecio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Jason Flemyng, Vinnie Jones, Brad Pitt, Rade Sherbedgia and Jason Statham
Written and Directed by Guy Ritchie

IN SHORT: Enjoyable though Aurally Incomprehensible, part II. [Rated R for strong violence, language and some nudity. 104 minutes]

The best joke in Guy Ritchie's comedy Snatch comes from an America mouth to a British ear and goes something like: "For a country that invented the language, I can't understand one [expletive deleted] word!" which pretty well sums up this linguistically incomprehensible, frenetically funny story of a stolen diamond and all the hands it touches. It isn't just the Brits that are thick tongued. Brad Pitt steals the show as an Irish Traveler/gypsy whose brogue is deliberately impossible to follow; kind of like speaking in code. Every now and then, when the character allows it, you'll catch just enough words to figure out a sentence, so you'll know it isn't all gobbledygook and a big joke on the audience. It is in keeping with what writer/director Ritchie did in his last film, Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Gun Barrels, Snatch, also incomprehensible, is also a treat.

That all makes trying to summarize this folly all the more difficult. You all know the old saying "There is no honor among thieves," we're pretty sure of that. In the universe of this story, there isn't much intelligence, logic or compassion either. Snatch is at times explicitly violent, though the actual hack and gore is just outside of the frame. In that particularly twisted masculine way, the violence is also very funny. Despite it all, you can follow the basic story right down to it decidedly black humored ending.

We begin with the theft of a flawless 86 carat diamond by Frankie Four Fingers (Benecio Del Toro). It's a brilliant snatch and every major domo thief in Europe and its suburb of New York wants the gem. American mobster Avi (Dennis Farina) is promised the big stone, and his London based "cousin" Doug the Head (Mike Reid) is promised some of the smaller nuggets. Doug The Head, knowing that Frankie has a nasty gambling jones, in cahoots with a trio of local bookies, tempts Frankie with a sure thing on an illegal boxing matched being staged by Boris The Blade (Rade Sherbedgia). The boxing match brings a couple of lesser "promoters" into the picture and, when their fighter is kayoed by Irishman Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt), they latch their wagons to the new boxing star. Literally -- payment is to be in the form of a new caravan (in American: a Winnebago) for Mickey's mom. One problem: Mickey isn't too sharp about following instructions as to when to take the dive.

We've greatly compressed the link to boxing and unjustly left out a motley collection of thieves and one very suave hitman nicknamed "Bullet Tooth" Tony (Vinnie Jones) for reasons too obvious to explain. Snatch plays out like an amusement park ride that looks like nothing on the outside and leaves you gasping for breath at its end.

While Snatch appears to head chaotically, insanely out of control, somehow or other everything -- murders, robberies, fights, diamond deals, car accidents -- comes together in the end. While Snatch is desperately in need of subtitles (!) there's more than enough visual instruction to keep everything in line. It is very funny in the cartoon violence manner and may required repeated viewing, if only to learn the language.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Snatch, he would have paid...


Despite the accents, Snatch is a flat out fun flick in almost every sense of the word. Definitely one for the guys flick. If you connected with Ritchie's last flick, you'll have no problem sitting through Snatch.

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