British Gangsters

British Underworld

There have been some terrific gangster type movies over the years but there is still one title that has everything a good gangster movie should have.

‘Snatch’ is an English made movie directed by Guy Ritchie.  Following the lives of two small time crooks, it focuses on the British Underworld, the different classes of criminals and a stolen diamond.  Ripped off by way of a very well organised operation, the diamond changes hands many times in often hilarious circumstances.

The film has a brilliant cast.  With a mixture of British and American actors, seldom has there been such an endearing yet completely frightening bunch of characters.  It is the character depth that makes this film; that and the plot.  It is incredible how Ritchie managed to put this storyline together, with all its twists and turns, without confusing the audience.

Brad Pitt plays a ‘pikey’; the slang term for a gypsy or Irish Traveller.  Typically stereotyped as thugs and thieves, Pitt is the bare knuckle boxing champion of the‘pikeys.  Pitt plays his part well, talking in a rapid fire Irish/English accent that is, intentionally, almost impossible to understand.  Making deals for a new caravan for his mum (Irish Travellers often live in mobile trailer parks) or beating the hell out of someone in an illegal boxing match, Pitt is equally at home.

Jason Statham plays ‘Turkish’ a small time crook who owns and runs a dodgy business and dapples in the illegal boxing scene.  He doesn’t fight, but hires men out to fight.  His crosses paths with ‘Mickey” (Brad Pitt) and Mickey becomes his hired man.  Turkish has a right-hand man called ‘Tommy’ who adds quite a bit of comic relief throughout the film, albeit not by choice.

‘Boris the bullet dodger’ then hires three incompetent black criminals to find ‘Freddy four fingers’ (Benicio Del Toro) who Boris discovers has the diamond in a briefcase which is chained to his wrist.

Vinnie Jones is in fine form as ‘Tony’ a thug hired by American diamond dealer ‘Avi’ (Dennis Farina) to find Boris who Avi believes has the diamond.  The problem here is that Boris the bullet dodger is not an easy target.

A man called ‘Bricktop’ (Alan Ford) is a nasty piece of work and Turkish finds himself in debt to Bricktop.  He tries to use Mickey to ease out of the debt, but soon finds the pikey has a mind of his own.

There is not one weak link in this movie.  It goes from strength to strength and it’s pure genius how it all links together.  The English language and phrases are particularly amusing, as is the thinly disguised sarcasm.  The language is harsh and it is particularly violent in places, but it is easy to believe similar scenarios being played out in the seedy underworld of London.

If you have seen Ritchie’s other film, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ then you will instantly notice that ‘Snatch’ follows the same lines.  

Brilliant in every way, ‘Snatch’ is a must see.  You will not be disappointed.