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Snatch

Year: 2000
Studio: Columbia
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Alan Ford, Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Rade Serbedzija

An ultra cool rendition of Eastenders meets The Godfather, as stylised as it is grittily realistic and as brutal as it is funny. It observes the comings and goings of a troupe of players in London's criminal underworld, all hot on the trail of their own agenda (for the most part, a stolen 86 carat diamond).

As rich and varied a cast of characters as has ever been collected on screen, and it seemed a sharper, more engaging effort than Ritchie's previous film (and the one that put him on the map), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Loosely centered around independent boxing promoters Turkish (Statham) and Tommy (Graham), who want to make their fortune in the game without getting into the debt of the fearsome Bricktop (Ford). Meanwhile, Bricktop's bookie has been done over by three bumbling black crooks on the hunt for the diamond, sent by the unkillable Boris the Blade (Serbedzija) who wants to take it from Frankie Four Fingers (Del Toro), who's collecting it for sale to Doug the Head for his cousin Avi (Farina), who brings in the cold blodded bounty junter/killer Bullet Tooth Tony (Jones) to close the deal.

After visiting gypsies to buy a caravan, Tommy and Turkish's star player Gorgeous George is knocked out in a disagreement over the quality by the pikey Mickey (Pitt), who they then convince to fight for them, bringing him and his band into the fray – who then have immeasurable consequences for everyone.

Everything collapses in a heap through various turns of fate and timing and in between credible sequences of tension and genuine humour (infused with its own cockney self-depreciation), and the whole thing is a great time.

Statham is tailor made for the sarcastic cockney guv'nor (talent he has yet to reprise fully), Ford is one of the richest, most frightening bad guys to grace the screen in years, and Pitt shows his worth as an actor.

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