Lock, Stock, Same Barrel

Guy Ritchie, who made his name with the London crime comedy "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (and, yes, by marrying Madonna), isn't taking any chances with his second film, "Snatch." Essentially, he's made the same movie over again, with a bigger budget and with Brad Pitt in a funny and flashy supporting role as a bare-knuckle gypsy boxer with an indecipherable quasi-Irish accent.

Once again you have larcenous plans gone farcically awry. In this case, the coveted object is an 84-carat diamond stolen in Antwerp, restolen in London and hotly pursued by several different parties of varying criminal ineptitude. Once again you have colorful lowlifes with names like Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia), Turkish (Jason Statham) and Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro, wrestling with a Yiddish accent). Ritchie again serves up his trademark mix of sadism and slapstick in his trademark music-video style. Still, he maintains a fine instinct for just how much blood he can splatter and still keep matters cartoonishly funny.

Those who haven't seen "Lock, Stock" will probably get a bigger kick out of "Snatch" than those who have. The second time around, what seemed spontaneous can sometimes feel strained. Still, there are such dark pleasures as Alan Ford's flamboyantly scuzzy villain Brick Top, flashing his gummy set of teeth as he describes his favorite method of disposing of dead bodies--hacking them up and feeding them to the pigs. With this morbidly bouncy black comedy Ritchie finds a sneaky way to avoid sophomore slump: by passing his freshman tests all over again. And now for something completely different, please.

Lock, Stock, Same Barrel | News