That periwinkle blue looks better than ever in Ultra HD
Guy Ritchie, writer/director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, delivers another awe-inspiring directorial masterpiece, Snatch –an edgy and hilarious film about a diamond heist gone wrong, a colorful Irish gypsy-turned-prizefighter…and a very temperamental dog. In the heart of gangland, two novice unlicensed boxing promoters, Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham), get roped into a rigged bare-knuckle fight with local kingpin/villain and fellow boxing promoter Brick Top (Alan Ford). But all goes wrong when wild-card Irish gypsy boxer One Punch Mickey O’Neil (Brad Pitt) starts playing by his own rules, and the duo find themselves heading for a whole lot of trouble. Meanwhile, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) and his stolen 86-caratdiamond have gone missing in London. Head honcho Avi (Dennis Farina) hires local legend Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find them, launching everyone into a spiral of double-crossing vendettas and events, most of them illegal.
It’s been over 20 years since Guy Ritchie took us to his version of the underbelly of London and showed us the motley characters that inhabit it. Riding high off the coarse but brilliant Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch is a refinement of the recipe. Fast paced, snappy visuals, playfully interweaving narrative threads, a rocking soundtrack, and a deft balance of dark humor and violence. A distinct slice of British gangster cinema. Ritchie has continued to milk with more recent efforts such as The Gentlemen and Wrath of Man, but Snatch still lands a punch as strongly as the day it was released.
The plot, revolving around a diamond heist, basically serves to entangle the fortunes of a bunch of miscreants (including Brad Pitt stealing the show as a bare-knuckle fighter who loves his Ma) with different factions of the London gangster scene. Basically an excuse to do what Ritchie is best at, sketching entertaining and memorable characters and selecting some brilliant performers (known and unknown) to bring them to life. Granted, some of the jokes and stereotypes haven’t aged too well. Time reinforces what a male dominated feature this is as well as all their flaws, aggression, and idiocy. There’s an infectious energy that does win you over though, aided by seeing some of the more egregious types get their comeuppance. Snatch remains rollicking fun, and the best reminder of that delightful mean streak that is synonymous with Ritchie’s gangster efforts.
The reason we’re all here is the brand-spanking new 4K presentation of the film. Originally shot on 35mm, Snatch has always had a gritty textured quality to it, and that is thankfully preserved here. It’s a sharp image, really top notch detail on faces, clothing, background set dressing. Deep blacks, colors are on the darker, grimier side, but naturally presented. The transfer is clean, but without sacrificing any of the natural grain. It looks cinematic, not overly processed. The higher resolution does show up some of the loss of detail (speckling) in some of the digital effects, a carryover from how the film was put together, rather than an issue with the presentation itself. In short, it’s the best presentation of the film I’ve seen. Sadly there are no new features included on the 4K disc, however the included Blu-ray carries over the legacy features from the previous home video release:
- Director & Producer Commentary: A pretty worthwhile commentary that brings together Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn. Plenty of insights and banter about the making of the film, as well as
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary: Six scenes here, and woot! they get commentary about their purpose/exclusion
- “Making Snatch” Featurette: Running nearly 25 minutes, a pretty standard BTS and interview effort
- The Cutting Room: An old feature that lets you edit your own version of a fight scene. Not as entertaining as it sounds
- Storyboard Comparisons: Presentation of storyboards, and a set juxtaposed with the film for comparison, for three scenes
- Video Photo Gallery and More!: A collection of stills, trailers, TV spots
- Ultra HD 4K, Blu-ray, and digital copy included
The Bottom Line
While the lack of fresh extra features is disappointing, Snatch on 4K looks a knockout. The film remains as fresh and entertaining as ever. Undoubtedly the finest distillation of Guy Ritchie’s particular brand of violence, flair, and comedy.
Snatch is available on Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Digital Combo from July 13th