Once upon a time, Guy Richie was this country’s answer to Tarantino. And then he married Madonna. I know that sounds unfair, but… pfft.
To my mind, Richie has two terrific films under his belt and while others point to Long Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as his best, it is the film Snatch that shows you just how far this director has fallen.
There is an energy and confidence to Snatch that has been missing in British cinema. I love how over the top it is. I love how cockney gangsters are walking around talking so eloquently with swear words scattered indiscriminately in their sentences.
Richie makes a complicated narrative appear simple, and that to my mind is a mark of a very good director. There are so many narrative strands to this story but the film never feels overwhelmed. It makes you really question whether this is the same bloke who directed Revolver.
This film’s trump card is its acting. Everyone is great in this film, from Frank Butcher, the generic British Gangster guy (Jason Statham) to the bloke from The Real McCoy. But, damn it, Brad Pitt steals this film from the moment he appears on screen as the Irish traveller, Mickey. I’ve seen this film many times and his performance always surprises me. I truly think it is his best.
Can Richie get his mojo back? Well, I’ve seen his Sherlock films and they are not bad at all. I’d like to see him go back to making films that are quintessentially British, gritty, realistic but, importantly, absurd.