A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
Turkish and his close friend/accomplice Tommy get pulled into the world of match fixing by the notorious Brick Top. Things get complicated when the boxer they had lined up gets badly beaten by Mickey, a 'pikey' ( slang for an Irish Gypsy)- who comes into the equation after Turkish, an unlicensed boxing promoter wants to buy a caravan off the Irish Gypsies. They then try to convince Mickey not only to fight for them, but to lose for them too. Whilst all this is going on, a huge diamond heist takes place, and a fistful of motley characters enter the story, including 'Cousin Avi', 'Boris The Blade', 'Franky Four Fingers' and 'Bullet Tooth Tony'. Things go from bad to worse as it all becomes about the money, the guns, and the damned dog. Written by
One of the boxers is called Bomber Harris. "Bomber Harris" was the nickname of Arthur Harris, chief of RAF Bomber Command in World War II. The name later appeared in a German Monty Python special (Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus (1972)) as the name of a man who wrestles himself - Colin "Bomber" Harris. See more »
When Gorgeous George hits Mickey, Mickey has his hair parted in the right, then when Mickey stand up and the rest of the movie his hair is parted in the left. See more »
My name is Turkish. Funny name for an Englishman, I know. My parents to be were on the same plane when it crashed. That's how they met. They named me after the name of the plane. Not many people are named after a plane crash. That's Tommy. He tells people he was named after a gun, but I know he was really named after a famous 19th century ballet dancer.
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In the opening credits, the names are shown on the surveillance screens. See more »
Written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (as J Ross)
Performed by The Johnston Brothers
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited
Licensed by kind permission from the Universal Music Group See more »
The release of Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" in 1994 prompted a schism in the staid gangster movie genre: the standard hallmarks - serious characters, gunfights, intrigue and damsels in distress - were enhanced with snappy dialogue, and gallows humour. The biggest change however was the introduction of the mobius strip-style plot line, where the concept of time is no longer linear, instead constantly folding in upon itself, flitting between past, present and future that forces the viewer to pay close attention lest they miss some subtle detail. Inevitably, numerous copycat films emerged that tried to capitalize on Tarantino's success, but it wasn't until 1998 when Guy Ritchie, an unknown British director, took on the challenge that a successor was found. Now Ritchie is determined to prove that his first time out wasn't a fluke.
Turkish is a young man with an entrepreneurial bent, who, when he's not running his gambling operation, manages bareknuckle boxers. Through a business deal gone wrong, he becomes acquainted with one Mickey O'Neil, a mumbling manic motor-mouthed piker who also happens to be a one-punch marvel. Turkish persuades Mickey to join his stable of fighters, but soon discovers that Mickey has his own agenda, and gets Turkish in trouble with the gangsters who run the underground boxing circuit. Other characters that become involved in the drama include a four-fingered degenerate gambler/jewel thief, a vicious boxing promoter, a gang of inept robbers, a polite hitman, a crazed Russian gun runner, a group of Irish gypsies, a crooked New York jeweler and a pugnacious pet. The common thread binding them all is a perfect diamond the size of a peach pit. If you aren't confused yet, you soon will be.
"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", Mr. Madonna's (Ritchie) first film, was shot on a small budget, with a no-name cast (except for football bad boy Vinnie Jones) and quickly became a rousing success at home and found receptive audiences abroad. While not a technically a sequel "Snatch" is stylistically very similar to "Lock, Stock ": Ritchie utilizes his trademark bombastic staccato sequences, and repeatedly bounces off on radical tangents to throw the viewer off balance. He did however opt for a decidedly darker satirical tone in this film, that may make some people uncomfortable (think "Very Bad Things"). What struck me as particularly daring was his decision to create a story with such a voluminous cast.
Ritchie faced a daunting task with this film: how, with roughly twenty principal characters, does one adequately flesh out each character, and not hopelessly confuse the audience? The feat was made doubly difficult, as several cast members are big name stars. Somehow Ritchie manages - each actor is full bodied, receives ample screen time, and no one character is the centerpiece. With so many talented actors, it is difficult to pick out one performance that stands out: Rade Serbedzija is hilarious as the mad Russian who blithely burns through each of his nine lives, as is Vinnie Jones' manic gentleman hitman. On the other end of the spectrum, is Alan Ford as Brick Top, the promoter with a penchant for pigs, who epitomizes cold-blooded viciousness. If forced to pick my favorite however, I would have to go with Brad Pitt
Pitt resurrects his trailer trash look from "Kalifornia" and adopts a nearly indecipherable brogue that sounds like my best friend's Uncle Wally on a bad day. As Mickey O'Neil, the hard drinking wily grifter and part-time pugilist, Pitt displays a wide range of emotions, demonstrating again that he is not only a star, but also a gifted character actor. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the dog that subtly stole every scene he appeared in.
While "Snatch" initially struggles to find its stride, and is very similar to Ritchie's earlier film, it is fresh and funny enough to make you forget any minor shortfalls and stand on its own.
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