Magazine article The Christian Century

Slick Violence

Magazine article The Christian Century

Slick Violence

Article excerpt

GUY RITCHIE'S Snatch, a British comedy (at least some of the audience was laughing), puts its disregard for human life right up front. We watch a jewel heist and massacre, some brutal beatings and a guy getting his face smashed with a hammer--all during the credits.

Go ahead, judge me, the film seems to be saying, Show how unhip you are. Well, violence is to be expected, especially in a story about two shady boxing promoters (Jason Statham and Stephen Graham) who lose their best fighter and replace him with the Irish vagabond (Brad Pitt) who beat up the first fighter in the first place. The new fighter doesn't understand the concept of a "fixed fight," which gets his promoters in hotter and hotter water. Also, there's a stolen jewel involved.

One of the few pleasures in this film is the intricacy of its plotting. It's like film noir on amphetamines. The film takes some risks with narrative structure, going out of sequence for a key scene. And Ritchie's visual and editing style, within its narrow range, is marvelous. The camera rushes unflappably from plot twist to plot twist using techniques that remind one of MTV, James Bond and the old Batman show put in a blender. …

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