OK, so, I’m familiar with this movie. Very familiar. My love of Jason Statham stems largely from his performance in Snatch. I learned very little watching it for the thousandth time that I hadn’t picked up in the previous nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine times.
I do however, have some thoughts.
It’s easy to forget, after almost two decades of Statham-as-action-star that he was cast in Snatch not as a fighter but as an actor; one half of the film’s comic centre. They have taken very different roads since, Stephen Graham has gone on to become one of the most extraordinary actors of his generation while Staham has become a bankable ‘star’ with a couple of billion-dollar-grossing action movies under his belt, but in Snatch they are perfectly matched as two (mostly) lovable rogues who find themselves in waters that are a little more troubled than they are used to.
While Statham obviously doesn’t have the range Graham does, there is probably an alternative universe or two where he became a reliable character actor instead of a lead. He is a far better actor than he gets credit for. His talent for comedy was so overlooked before he made Spy that it took many people by surprise, but it’s all here, only two films into his career, the intonation, the timing, the understanding of how to use the spaces between (and during) his lines.
Snatch is becoming a forgotten classic (in my most humble opinion). It seems to get most often remembered now for the terrible Irish accent that Brad Pitt didn’t actually have in it. Hey, the internet, the bad Brad Pitt accent was in The Devil’s Own. His accent in Snatch (which isn’t even supposed to be Irish btw) is great, one of the highlights of the film. If you haven’t tried to imitate his ‘she’s very partial to the periwinkle blue’ then you haven’t truly lived.
There are so many great performances in Snatch that it would become silly if I tried to list all of them (though it would be churlish not to mention Lennie James, Robbie Gee and Ade who are all fantastic and really should have got at least a spin-off movie, maybe even a cinematic universe). Not many films balance so many characters so well, especially when you consider how the mood shifts backwards and forwards between humour, threat and tragedy.
One thing I did notice this time was that Jason Statham’s character has the same picture of a Lancaster bomber on his wall that my dad used to own. Not sure why I haven’t noticed that before. Maybe I have and I forgot.