"All Bets are Off"
Review by Ross Anthony

Another in the "Coarse Comedy" genre made popular by Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." If you're the type of viewer that has a hard time laughing only seconds after some poor bloke gets his arm lopped off ... don't see the film. If however, you loved "Pulp Fiction" or Guy Ritchie's earlier coarse comedy "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" - this film is well worth its ticket price.

(Disclaimer: Due to an error in communication, I entered the screening a full 20 minutes tardy. This didn't deter my enjoyment of the picture, though you should know that this review can only be accurate for the later 3/4's of the film.)

This underworld farce is told primarily from the perspective of a boxing opportunist who acquires Brad Pitt as a replacement boxer due to take a fall in the fourth round. The bookie and his people have their own plans, as does Dennis Farina, the Jewish American jewelry thief, Boris, the ex-KGB thief, a group of street thugs, and a dog. How will these many opposing and intertwining motivations play out? With characters like Franky Four Fingers and Bullet Tooth Tony, you know you're in for a bit of some hard-hitting, fumbling-bad-guy fun. As Dennis Farina sighs, "I'm getting heartburn, Tony do something terrible."

Aside from two or three, ridiculous coincidences (which are beautifully realized on film, btw), the progressions are sometimes violent, always gritty, and most often starkly funny.

The "let's rob the bookie" scene is fall down hilarious. The "Brad Pitt taking a hit in slow mo" scene is one of the sweetest boxing sequences I've ever witnessed on film, going the extra surreal mile to clinch a place in silver screen history. In fact, director Ritchie spices the picture tastefully and artfully with fast speed, quick zooms, and rush cuts that add to the humor and intensity.

FYI: Why Pitt? After seeing "Two Smoking Barrels," Brad Pitt literally asked Ritchie to use him in his next film.

  • Snatch. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina, Benicio Del Toro, Jason Flemyng, Vinnie Jones, Rade Sherbedgia, Jason Statham.
  • Written and directed by Guy Ritchie.
  • Produced by Matthew Vaughn.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:00 PDT