Snatch (2002)

Probably the definitive distillation of Guy Ritchie’s brand. Overly stylish and cocky yet totally controlled and entertaining. The attempt at zingy dialogue is certainly too clever for its own good but Ritchie does have an ear for rhythm. The constant repetitions and “to me to you” banter filtered through the variety of accents lends the whole film a musicality which I enjoy, though I can see why it might grate on many. This is definitely a film full of characters who are no more than the sum of their quirks and colourful monikers. Richie wants you to walk out of his movies and think back to characters like Bullet Tooth Tony, Frankie Four Fingers, Boris the Blade and Brick Top and go, that guy, he sure is a character! It helps that all the actors are on the same page and make a meal out of Richie’s universe.

Being British, born in the 90s and growing up through the 2000s, watching Snatch and quoting it endlessly was a real rite of passage but I always preferred Lock Stock. Maybe because it was more of the underdog. As time has gone by, however, I’ve come to appreciate Snatch as the better film that still holds up through the lens of its endless imitators. Watching this after many years away was like triggering some kind of dormant muscle memory. I’d love to see Richie return to this world again but I suspect the polished grime and punkish energy of his early films has been completely scrubbed from under his fingernails in favour of studio fireworks. Never thought this would be a film I’d remember fondly in 2018 yet here we are

Watched on blu-ray.

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