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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Snatch

Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones
Director: Guy Ritchie
Rated: R
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: January 2001
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Suspense

*Also starring: Dennis Farina, Brad Pitt, Rade Serbedzija, Jason Statham, Mike Reid, Robbie Gee, Jason Flemyng, Ewen Bremner

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

Blood and guns. SNATCH is the second feature film by writer and director Guy Ritchie, who blasted onto the film scene a couple of years ago with his audacious LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. His latest movie is a hyper-violent, screwball comedy that doesn't pull any punches. And it's fun for a time until the repetition factor sets in. Coming from the more-is-always-better school of filmmaking, Ritchie tries to fill every fast-paced scene with maximum violence and mayhem.

SNATCH, which has more characters and overlapping stories that you can count, never has a slow moment. Most of the main stories revolve around an 86-caret diamond stolen by Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) from Antwerp diamond dealers. After stealing it, he keeps the diamond in a briefcase, which is always attached by a chain to his arm. In the predictable script, you can probably guess exactly how he will be relieved of the stone.

The other major story involves an illegal, no-holds-barred boxing matching featuring an unintelligible gypsy named One Punch Mickey (Brad Pitt). One of many links between the two stories is an indestructible Russian gun dealer named Boris The Blade (Rade Serbedzija). Many of the characters, like Boris, can take more bullets than the agents in THE MATRIX and still keep on coming. The make-up department for SNATCH must have had to buy fake blood by the barrels.

Individual incidents are cute although few rise to the level of laugh-out-loud funny. Typical is the gag involving a trio of two-bit crooks, played by Robbie Gee, Lennie James and Ade. They have a pesky dog who swallows a toy, which causes him forever after to squeak rather than bark.

Rising to the top of the list of the characters who quickly get tiresome is Brick Top (Alan Ford), a nefarious boxing promoter who has man-eating pigs. Animal rights people may find many of the fighting animal scenes more than they can stomach even if the movie undoubtedly promises that no animals were harmed, etc.

As the ending credits roll, the song it plays has the constant refrain, "Ha, ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha, ha." The movie is like that -- way too repetitive.

SNATCH runs 1:43. It is rated R for strong violence, language and some nudity and would be acceptable for high school seniors and older.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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