Rated NR

Guy Ritchie, who for the next two to five years will be known primarily as Mr. Madonna, reminds me of one of those shred-metal guitarists of the late 1980s. During any of their interchangeable, technically flawless solos, they'd pull out all the stops in their quest to amaze and delight an audience, trying any trick, no matter how tasteless, any style, no matter how passé, and ripping off licks from anybody who was any good. Ritchie does basically the same thing in film, throwing in a little Spike Lee lick, a little of David Fincher, etc., all over a rhythm bed that's all Tarantino in its meandering chronology and street-level eloquence. Basically, Ritchie's remade his first film, the highly entertaining Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. And, like that film, Snatch is fast-paced, flashy and funny, full of the highfalutin banter, colorfully named gangsters and quick and artful violence of the post-Tarantino crime genre. Snatch is loads of fun, but don't go expecting to see anything really new. Instead, think of Ritchie's film like a new Van Halen album: you've heard all these tricks before, but they're still pretty bitchin', aren't they?

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