I can imagine it’s quite emasculating to be married to Madonna. I don’t care if you’re the meanest, toughest bastard on the face of the planet; Madonna wears the pants in any family (as well as whatever else she dons in the bedroom). That said, Mr. Madonna has gone out and made a total guy movie (sorry about the coincidental first name thing.) He has made a film that holds about as much interest for women as an athletic supporter or the double beer helmet. “But the movie has Brad Pitt in it!” you say. No, it’s Brad Pitt doing his usual “ugly myself up so I’m not seen as a matinee idol” routine. I swear he just takes these greaseball parts so he doesn’t have to shower. Sure the guy takes his shirt off a lot, but he’s greasy and unintelligible the entire film.
Anyway, there’s lots of gunplay, fist fights, bad language, dogs, goofy accents, fast cuts and weird camera angles. Sounds like a chick-flick, eh? The reason this film doesn’t get more stars is because Guy Ritchie is just too wacky with the camera. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when a director tries new things with the camera and editing. The problem here is that all of his moves are copped from Scorsese, Joel Coen, Tarantino and whoever the guy is who directs Malcom In the Middle. The wacky shots seemed forced and done just for the sake of doing them. Granted, there are a few that are funny and entertaining, but at some point they start to detract from the film, and make it more kitschy than it needs to be.
One complement I do have is that this movie really speeds along. There are no dead spots that I can recall, and this economy of screentime really works to create the frenetic pace needed to sustain a good heist movie. When you can actually understand what the characters are saying, there are some pretty funny lines, and more than a couple good site gags. I’m always a sucker for a good dog joke, and the pit bull with the squeaky toy in his throat makes me laugh every time I think about it. Benecio Del Toro spends the film mumbling through his greasy locks in an indeterminate accent that is neither English, Welsh, Irish, Spanish nor American. One scene in which he is gambling and drinking in stop motion clips is one of the funniest visuals in the film. Pitt plays a piker, which I gather is kind of like an Irish gypsy. He speaks a kind of gypsy gibberish that only his gypsy buddies can understand. This role is kind of a combination of his Fight Club and Twelve Monkeys roles, here playing a somewhat psychotic/hyper bare-knuckle boxing champ. It is funny seeing Dennis Farina attempt to play a Jewish diamond dealer after years of playing a mob boss and general wiseguy. He’s about as convincing in the role as Keanu Reeves was as an FBI agent. Maybe this just makes it funnier?
There’s a whole gang of wild, low-life characters that inhabit this film, most with crazy nicknames like Bricktop, Boris “The Bullet Dodger,” Frankie Four Fingers and Bullet Tooth Tony. This is your basic jewel heist film with a twist. A bunch of bumbling idiots and thugs are either after these stolen diamonds or after each other. Paths cross and hijinks ensue. The story revolves around underground boxing promoter Turkish and his slightly dim partner, Tommy. They seem like good guys, but they’ve gotten themselves in deep with some surly characters. I have a feeling these two actors are going to get a lot of work from this film (but who knows). My favorite thing about this movie (besides it being incredibly entertaining) is that they made that f’n tool Jeffrey Lyons say the word Snatch on national television. Hahahahaha!