Directed by Guy Ritchie.
Written by Guy Ritchie.
Starring Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones and Benicio Del
Release Year: 2000
Review Date: 1/20/01
It's been a great week. I had Monday off
for MLK Day, I had multiple free meals on Tuesday, I turned 26 on
Wednesday, had more freebies all day Thursday for my meals and
Friday...I went to see my birthday flick. Now, normally, I go see a
flick on my birthday itself, but since I had seen everything I had
wanted to see up to that point, I decided to wait until Friday.
Most years, the movie I see on my birthday blows...the worst of
these movies has got to be "Freejack", the shitty Emilio
Estevez/Mick Jagger action film that has to rank amongst the bottom
of the films I have seen. I must say, though, that my fortunes have
changed with the release of "Snatch."
Wow. What a great movie! Guy Ritchie
(Madonna's husband, director of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking
Barrels") has written and directed a film that actually has it all:
a diverse, talented cast; a globetrotting plot with multiple
interesting stories; a great soundtrack; the perfect pace (getting
loads into its 100 minutes; you WILL think it is longer); lively
cinematography that does a great job of mixing up its styles to keep
the audience interested; and, finally, a movie that has a great
ending! Movies seem to never get the ending right anymore; even a
great film like "Traffic" didn't handle its ending well, in my
The *start* of the plot is simple: Frankie
Four-Fingers (Benicio Del Toro, "The Usual Suspects") completes a
heist to steal an 84-carat diamond and attempts to get the diamond
to a friend in New York (Dennis Farina, more movies than I can
mention here). Of course, that plan goes awry, and everyone from
the local mob boss to a bumbling set of diamond experts to boxing
promoters to a crazy Russian have a hand in the movie's outcome.
But, it is the *ride* in "Snatch" that makes
the whole thing worthwhile. Just its opening character introduction
sequence is wild, as Ritchie shows the audience all of the
characters in the movie in one energized loop. Wisely, though,
Ritchie does not overemploy MTV-style hypercutting throughout the
film, just on occasion. He also uses some discretion in showing us
only enough violence to give us the idea of what is taking place;
rather than showing us lots of bloodied bodies, he usually just
shows one character shooting another and leaving it at that. (In
case you were wondering, some of its ideas are pretty violent but
you aren't getting, say, a guy's ear cut off like in "Reservoir
Dogs." Just watch out for the pigs.) And, the acting turns are
often just hilarious, including Brad Pitt's bare-knuckle fighter and
Vinnie Jones' tough-guy routine, played in a similar fashion as his
role in "Lock, Stock..." Even the dog that is shown in the preview
has lots to do over the course of the film.
Highly recommended and, if you haven't
already, rent "Lock, Stock..." because there are a few in-jokes that
you will pick up on if you have already seen that film.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard