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Snatch is the second film by British director and recovering Madonna enthusiast Guy Ritchie. Like his first film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch is a humorous crime caper featuring a trainwreck of villains in a cartoonish London underworld.
The film's plot is essentially broken down into two mostly separate plot threads, both of which feature large ensemble casts.
The film opens with Jewish gangster and expert thief Frankie "Four Fingers" stealing a huge 86 karat diamond in Antwerp. With the help of a section of the Russian Mob that his boss is working with, Frankie is able to smuggle the diamond onto a plane, but his gun is taken by the Russians so as to not cause problems. Frankie is advised to see Boris, a local fence in London, if he wants a new gun. The Russian Gangster who took Frankie's gun, (who is actually Boris' brother) and Boris immediately begin conspiring on how to steal the diamond from Frankie before Frankie heads back home to America, without the deed leading back to them.
At this point we're introduced to Turkish and Tommy, who are the closest thing the film has to main characters. The two are shady but basically decent entrepreneurs who dabble in unlicensed boxing and slot machines. Turkish, who has a reputation for running honest fights, is being forced by circumstances to work with Brick Top, a monstrous local gangster, on a fixed fight. Gorgeous George (Turkish's leading fighter) is set to go down in the 4th round against one of Brick Top's fighters. There's just one problem: on a completely unrelated errand Gorgeous George gets knocked out and damn near killed by Mickey, a bareknuckle boxing Irish Traveller. When Turkish recruits Mickey as a replacement, Brick Top attempts to force him to take the same dive Gorgeous George was going to, but Mickey has plans of his own.
Boris decides that the best way to go about getting the diamond without seeming to be involved is to prey on Frankie's gambling addiction. Boris gives Frankie a tip about how the upcoming fight with Brick Top's fighter is supposed to be fixed, which sends Frankie off to the bookie to place a bet on it. Boris then hires a pair of pawnbrokers (Sol and Vincent) to ambush him at Brick Top's bookie. When Frankie disappears, his boss and New York crime kingpin Avi heads to London and recruits the enforcer-for-hire Bullet-Tooth Tony to find Frankie and the diamond.
This film contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: More like a writer/director allusion - Tony hears Madonna's "Lucky Star" on the radio and comments, "I love this track!" Guy Ritchie and Madonna, well, you know the story.
- Bullet Tooth Tony is introduced doing exactly the same thing as Big Chris is in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
- Anti-Hero: Turkish is definitely a shady character, and hardly a nice guy, but he's by far the most decent of the bunch. On account of being the only one who's not a violent criminal. Or a complete idiot.
- Anyone Can Die
- Ask a Stupid Question
Mullet: What the fuck are you doin', Tone?
Tony: I'm driving down the street with your head stuck in my window. What do you think I'm doing, you pen-arse?
- Badass Bystander: The girl behind the counter at Brick Top's betting shop. She stares down some flunky robbers and manages to shoot at them with their own gun before escaping.
- Batter Up: Turkish uses what looks like a lead-cored baseball bat to take out two similarly-armed thugs during the attack on his arcade.
- BFG: "That's a fucking anti-aircraft gun, Vincent!"
- Black and Gray Morality: Runs the gamut from 'dodgy but basically okay Anti-Hero' to 'Complete Monster'.
- Black Comedy
- Black Guy Dies First: Inverted. Sol, Vinnie and Tyrone are on the very short list of people who don't die, although Sol and Vinnie get nicked.
- Blood Sport: The various unlicensed boxing events as well as Brick Top's dogfighting racket and the pikeys' hare coursing.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Tommy seems to have quite the soft spot for Mickey's mam...
- Call Back: The Madonna track that Tony hears on the radio and gushes over is the same song that was playing when he got shot in flashback.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Avi is waiting to explode into them at any time.
Doug the Head: Avi!
Avi: Shut up and sit down, you big bald fuck. I don't like leaving my country, Doug, and I especially don't like leaving it for anything other than white sandy beaches and drinks with little straw hats.
Doug the Head: We've got sandy beaches, Avi.
Avi: So? Who the fuck wants to see 'em?
- Just watch this DVD extra.
- Avi's tendency to drop a Cluster F-Bomb at any moment isn't too surprising when you consider that he's played by the same guy who brought us Ray Bones.
- According to IMDB the word "fuck" is said 163 times in the movie. The movie is 104 minutes long so it's said about one and half times per minute.
- Chekhov's Gun: Turkish mocks Tommy for buying a gun, then mocks him further when the gun turns out to be defective, but Tommy successfully uses it to hold off Brick Top's Mooks and secure their escape.
- The Chessmaster: Of all people, Mickey. There's a reason he kept winning those fights. He wanted to.
- Critical Research Failure: In-universe. Tommy repeats the common myth that drinking milk is 'not in sync with evolution' and that the human digestive system 'hasn't gotten used to it yet', which is complete nonsense where Europeans are concerned. Turkish's reaction says it all, really.
Turkish: Well, fuck me. What have you been reading?
- Deadpan Snarker: Turkish. Completely. Tony also has more than a touch of it.
- "Well, c'mon. Before ze Germans get here."
- Tommy is panicking about what to do if any of the countless things that can go wrong with the plan they're forced into go wrong. Turkish has no trouble working out the right thing to do but Tommy doesn't seem too happy with a plan involving "get murdered before we leave the building and I imagine we get fed to the pigs."
- "You show me how to control a wild fucking Pikey, and I'll show you how to control an UNHINGED, pig-feeding gangster!"
- Bullet-Tooth Tony and Avi spend most of their part in the proceedings dealing with things via copious amounts of heavy sarcasm as well.
Bullettooth Tony: Boris the Bullet-Dodger?
Avi: Why do they call him that?
Bullettooth Tony: ...Because he dodges bullets, Avi.
- "Anything to declare?" "Yeah -- don't go to England!"
- Disposing of a Body:
- Brick Top's very detailed description of how to feed a body to pigs.
- Lincoln points out that "bad boy yardies" generally create the bodies without thought of erasing the bodies.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Upon learning that Mickey won't fight unless his mother is bought a new caravan, Brick Top's response is to set fire to Mickey's mother's existing caravan... while she's still asleep inside of it. And plans to wipe out Mickey's entire clan if he doesn't throw the fight. Which means that Mickey's own revenge on Brick Top in fact comes across as pretty well deserved.
- The Ditz: Sol, Vinnie and Tyrone, as well as Tommy.
- Dramatis Personae
- The Dreaded: Brick Top.
- Epic Fail: Anything attempted by Sol, Vince, or Tyrone. The bookie robbery deserves special mention.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Brick Top ordering a pair of Mooks tasered and suffocated to death with plastic bags...in full view of witnesses, whom he then effortlessly intimidates into silence.
- Bullet-Tooth Tony repeatedly slamming a man's head in a car door, then pausing to answer his car phone with a jaunty, "Bonjour!"
- The credits montage that opens the movie is essentially catching every single character in the middle of a split-second establishing moment.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Tony's reaction to Avi's command to "look in the dog."
- "What do you mean 'LOOK IN THE DOG'?!"
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: ?????
- Evil Old Folks: Brick Top.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
Avi: Why do they call him the "bullet dodger"?
Tony: ...Because he dodges bullets, Avi.
- Also Bullet Tooth Tony, so named because of his false teeth which are bullets set in gold (bullets he was shot with no less)
- Extreme Omnivore: The dog.
- Fake Brit: Brad Pitt. (with a bizarre version of the Traveller accent; type "Irish traveller" into YouTube if you want to know what he should sound like)
- Supposedly Pitt proved incapable of learning to speak with a 'proper' British accent, so Guy Ritchie decided to go with that instead.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Possibly Bullet-Tooth Tony. He has a reputation for being Made of Iron due to supposedly having survived being shot six times at one sitting, but Avi kills him stone dead with a single stray shot.
- Of course, Tony survived being shot by a small compact pistol, not a Desert Eagle. Guess the guy who wanted to kill him simply needed bigger bullets.
- Fat Bastard / Fat Idiot: Tyrone
John and Errol:"Ah. Tyrone. You silly fat bastard."
- Fixing the Game: Brick Top runs crooked boxing matches. Turkish does not.
- Forced Prize Fight
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Bricktop wears gigantic old fart glasses.
- Gambit Pileup: Including attempted ones done by people who are really bad at chess.
- The Gambling Addict: Frankie Four Fingers
- Genre Busting
- Gilligan Cut:
Rosebud: I hate Russians. I'll take care of him.
Tony: He's all yours, Rosebud, me old son.
Rosebud: Not a problem.
[cut to Rosebud bleeding from his scalp]
Rosebud: You gotta get me to a doctor! Shoot that fuck! And then get me to a doctor!
- Groin Attack: Suffered by Tommy when he attempted to complain to Boris about the defective firearm he'd been sold. Boris had recently been run over and was in no mood to listen.
- Hand Cannon: Tony's Desert Eagle.
- Tommy's enormous revolver as well. Except the gun would do more damage if you fed it to someone.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Turkish and Tommy.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: The main Traveller who isn't Mickey or Mickey's mam is played by Jason Flemyng, who was Tom in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. In the DVD commentary, the filmmakers joke about how much screen time Flemyng managed to nab for himself in what was supposed to be a cameo.
- Humiliation Conga: Basically what Avi is subjected to over the course of the movie.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Avi is rather easily excitable.
- And Rosebud, Avi's henchman, accidedently stabs himself.
- Implacable Man: Tony and Boris both.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Sol, Vinnie and Tyrone.
- If you consider them to be villains. This troper considers them to be the protagonists in their little part of the story.
- Cousin Avi might count. He's clearly a ruthless criminal and not an incredibly nice man, but the movie takes what would normally be a pretty clear-cut villain (the ruthless mob boss who gets something stolen from him and goes on a quest to get it back by any means necessary) and instead sends him blundering through an increasingly humiliating and exasperating comedy of errors until you kind of want him to get the diamond since it's sort-of supposed to be his anyway.
- Informed Flaw: Doug's view of Bullet-Tooth Tony as 'a liability' doesn't seem entirely fair, since he's pretty much a paragon of efficient, understated badassery throughout the film. Yes, in real life you'd probably get pulled in for driving along with an informant's head trapped in your car window or drawing a Desert Eagle in a pub - but in a universe where one can apparently limp freely through London flourishing an assault rifle and muttering to oneself in Uzbek, that's not really relevant.
- Irish Travellers
- Ironic Nickname: Brick Top probably received his nickname before his hair went grey.
- Irony: To such a degree that 'Ironic Situations' could be a replacement title for the movie. Some notable examples include:
- Sol, Vincent and Tyrone are hired by Boris to rob Frankie as he's putting a bet on at the bookies under cover of robbing the entire establishment. They sit outside for hours waiting for him to show up... completely unaware that he was in the van they rear-ended as they arrived and was knocked unconscious by the collision.
- Tommy and Turkish, the only two main characters who were not involved in the diamond plot and had no idea it even existed, end up acquiring and profiting from it.
- Jerkasses: Everyone. Cousin Avi and Brick Top in particular.
- Kick the Dog: There's no real reason to dislike Avi until he gives a certain command involving a dog. Bricktop is also seen killing two Mooks and brutalizing dogs early in the film to establish him as a villain amongst villains. When he order the burning of Mickey's caravan with his mother still inside, he crosses a Moral Event Horizon.
- Knuckle-Cracking: Tony does this, but Mickey takes the cake. He spends most of the fight against Gorgeous methodically cracking his entire skeleton, before laying him out with one punch.
- Laser-Guided Karma: By the end of the film, Turkish and Tommy, the only people who didn't try anything more criminal or morally questionable than surviving and who didn't even know the diamond existed, end up profiting from it. Everyone else is either dead, arrested, or suffered a severe loss.
- Except Mickey, who actually out-gambitted everyone. Although his mom was killed...
- Also, it's implied that Avi will get the diamond, and therefore a big profit, which probably goes a long way toward making up for the losses of Frankie and Rosebud.
- Except Mickey, who actually out-gambitted everyone. Although his mom was killed...
- Laughably Evil: Even for a Guy Ritchie movie, Brick Top is truly a complete monster, brutalizing dogs and people both, committing multiple cold blooded murders and threatening to wipe out an entire Traveller clan. He's also really funny, and gets many of the best lines in the movie.
- Law of Inverse Recoil: A Desert Eagle .50 Action Express doesn't seem to have a lot of recoil when fired one-handed by both Tony and Cousin Avi.
- Leitmotif: Boris' theme music plays every single moment that he is on screen. At one point he walks into a house and we can hear his theme song muffled through the walls.
- Likes Older Women: Tommy seems to have quite the soft spot for Mickey's mam...
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- London Gangster: Brick Top, and several others.
- MacGuffin: The 86 carat diamond. Several characters spend much of the film trying to get the diamond, however by the end of the film, most of the bad guys end up in jail or dead. The diamond gets swallowed by a dog which in turn is adopted by Turkish and Tommy, the only main characters who were not involved with the diamond plot.
- Made of Iron: Tony having survived getting shot six times (in one sitting) in the past automatically qualifies him. Boris earned his nickname "The Bullet-Dodger" by, well, dodging bullets and it takes a full magazine from Tony's Desert Eagle .50 to lay him out for good. And Mickey, who gives his first opponent about 8 free hits before laying him out.
- The Mafiya: Boris isn't actually a "sneaky fuckin' Russian," but a sneaky fuckin' Uzbek
- Meaningful Name: Played with. Boris' two nicknames (Boris the Blade and Boris the Bullet Dodger) actually aren't all that accurate. He's only seen using a blade once in the entire movie, and he doesn't dodge bullets so much as absorb them. His third name "Boris the sneaky fucking Russian" is a bit more accurate (although technically he's an Uzbekistanian).
- Not So Different: Sol and Vincent are essentially a slightly more dodgy and violent (and in Sol's case, slightly less smart) version of Turkish and Tommy.
- Not with the Safety On, You Won't: Bullet Tooth Tony, when being threatened with replica guns.
- Oh Crap: Several moments: Bad Boy Lincoln when he recognizes Bricktop, Turkish and Tommy's reaction when Mickey knocks out Bricktop's fighter (both times).
Turkish Now, we are fucked.
- Sol, Vince and Tyrone's reactions to Bullet Tooth Tony's Desert Eagle, and Avi's reaction to accidentally killing Bullet Tooth Tony.
- Bricktop gets a retroactive one; at the climax, he see him hang up his phone with a troubled expression on his face. It's only after a flashback that we realize it's because his plan to teach Mickey a lesson by killing his entire clan has gone badly wrong.
- The guy who tried to shoot Tony six times in flashback also looks rather anxious when Tony refuses to 'fucking die' and comes at him with a sword.
- Mickey gets one in the last fight in the movie, when he almost knocks the other fighter out in the first round. He's worried because he knows that his friends haven't had enough time to take care of Brick Top's men, and if he won the fight that early, they'd all be fucked. Proper fucked.
- Sol, Vince and Tyrone's reactions to Bullet Tooth Tony's Desert Eagle, and Avi's reaction to accidentally killing Bullet Tooth Tony.
- Only Sane Man: Turkish seems to be the only main character in the film who is not too greedy, crazy, or stupid.
- Plethora of Mistakes
- Police Are Useless: The only time we even see any policemen comes after all the action is over and all the bad guys are dead.
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: Avi constantly refers to Boris as a "Cossack."
- Preemptive "Shut Up": Brick Top, to Errol:
Errol: [to Turkish] Oi, fuckface, was he talking to you?
Turkish: Fuckface, huh? I like that. I'll have to remember that next time I'm crawling off your Mum.
Brick Top: [to Errol] Not now.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Traveller played by Jason Flemyng delivers a pretty good one to Brick Top before he blows away one of Bricktop's men:
Brick Top: [On mobile] Pete, talk to me.
Traveller: [On Pete's phone] If you want yer friend to hear ye, ye'll have to talk a lot louder than that. [BANG]
- Psycho Serum: Turkish attributes both Boris' near-invulnerability and his extreme kookiness to "one too many disco-biscuits".
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: It's best to watch this film on DVD so you can pause it to crack up laughing without missing another joke in the process. They're "blink and you'll miss it" at times.
- Rare Guns: The two most prominent firearms in the film is a Franchi SPAS-12S shotgun ("That's a fucking anti-aircraft gun, Vincent!") and Tony's Desert Eagle "Point Five-Oh".
- Rasputinian Death: Boris, appropriately.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bullet Tooth Tony delivers a magnificent one to Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone when they attempt to get the diamond back.
Tony: So. You're obviously the big dick. And the men on either side of you are your balls. There are two types of balls. There are big brave balls and there are little mincy faggot balls.
Vinny: These are your last words so make them a prayer.
Tony: Now dicks have drive and clarity of vision, but they're not clever. They smell pussy and they want a piece of the action. And you thought you smelled some good ole pussy and have brought your two little mincy faggot balls along for a good ole time. But you've got your parties muddled up. There's no pussy here. Just a dose that'll make you wish you were born a woman. Like a prick, you're having second thoughts. You're shrinking. And your two little balls are shrinking with you. And the fact that you've got 'Replica' written down the side of your guns...[they look in horror at their guns] and the fact that I've got Desert Eagle, point-five-oh written on the side of mine [They look at his with even more horror] should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now... [he sips his drink] ...Fuck off.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "It had previously occurred to me that the pikey had taken the demise of his mother rather lightly. But for every action, there's a reaction. And a pikey reaction...is quite a fucking thing."
- Robbing the Mob Bank: Or in this case, the mob bookie.
"Do you know who this bookies belongs to?"
- Running Gag: Mostly just repeated phrases like "sneaky fuckin' Russian", "Franky fuckin' Four Fingers", "I fucking hate pikeys", "proper fucked", and "ze Germans".
- People keep getting killed in the back of Sol and Vincent's shop. The killers keep leaving Sol and Vincent to deal with the bodies.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Pretty much said word-for-word by Sol after witnessing a massive shoot out which they only just managed to survive.
'Fuck it, we're outta here.'
- Shirtless Scene: Brad Pitt as a bareknuckle boxer spends a lot of time with his shirt off, exposing his numerous gypsy tats and chiseled abs.
- Shout-Out: Bullet Tooth Tony is introduced in a scene where he is continuously banging a car door off the head of some random Mook in the same manner as Big Chris (Also played by Vinnie Jones) does in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
- Sophisticated As Hell
Brick Top: Do you know what Nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by a 'orrible cunt. Me.
- Spiritual Successor: For Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Similar tone, subject matter, and some crossover in cast and crew. Vinnie Jones is shown crushing someone's head in a car door in both films.
- Stealth Pun: Brad Pitt's character first appears performing the act that 'Brad Pitt' is rhyming slang for.
- Stupid Crooks: Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone. Apparently, everything they do was inspired by stories shared on late night talk show monologues.
- Take a Third Option: Apparently trying to back the Irish Travellers into a corner is a really bad idea.
- This Is Sparta:
- Attempted, poorly, by a wannabe badass, but it might have been better if it weren't aimed at Vinnie Jones.
- "All. Bets. Are. Off."
- Those Two Bad Guys: John and Errol, Brick Top's two main henchmen.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Referenced. When Tommy reveals he has bought a gun "for protection", Turkish replies "Who from? Ze Germans?"
- Throwing the Fight: Mickey is asked to do this twice. He's not too keen on the idea.
- Took a Level In Badass: Tommy, Turkish's timid little sidekick, grows a pair of giant Brass Balls before the movie is over. He saves Turkish's ass by walking in with his defective Hand Cannon and facing down a half-dozen of Brick Top's mooks armed with various bladed and blunt weapons. When Errol advances on him, does he back down, knowing his gun won't fire? Nope. He steps forward, shoves the gun in Errol's face and dares him to try anything.
- To the Pain: Brick Top describing "the best way" to dispose of a body to Sol and Vinnie.
- Tranquil Fury: For Brick Top, "loud and aggressive" is his default mode. When he gets really angry, he gets very quiet.
- The Unintelligible: The Pikeys, Mickey in particular. The subtitle feature of the DVD reads "???????" at a certain point.
- Unusual Euphemism:
- Minerals (fancy way of saying "stones").
- Tony shouting to Avi "Pull your socks up!" as a way to warn him to duck, before he shoots through the wall.
- Villainous Breakdown: For a given value of 'villain' (he's certainly not nearly as bad as some in this movie), Avi spends most of the movie getting more and more edgy and irate with things until he's eventually reduced to firing a gun wildly at a dog. One gets the feeling he'd been wanting to shoot something/one for a while by that point.
I HATE FUCKING DOGS!
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Tyrone's fate is not immediately clear; he appears to survive the showdown at the pub unscathed, and we last see him running off, but nothing more is mentioned of him.
- Why Won't You Fuckin' DIE?: Screamed at Tony in a flashback.
- The Yardies: Lincoln (played by Goldie) is described as "a bad boy Yardie."
- You Have to Have Jews: Doug the Head obviously believes this, because he pretends to be Jewish thinking it's good for business, "because when you're in the diamond trade... it is good business".
- Your Mom:
Errol: Oy, fuckface. Was he talking to you?
Turkish: Fuckface, huh? I like that. I'll have to remember it next time I'm crawling off your Mum.