Writer-director Guy Ritchie’s second feature failed to capture too many more viewers than his cult fave debut, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, even with two household-friendly actors (Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro) mixed into the largely British ensemble this time out. Perhaps it’s because this darkly comic caper revolving around a stolen diamond didn’t cover enough new ground to satisfy the Lock, Stock fan base and/or that the scuzzy underworld was still too distinctly British to connect with mass Yank audiences. Regardless, in its own right, Snatch is an entertaining lark, powered by nice work by all the players and Ritchie’s adrenalized visual style.
Given his energetic style, Ritchie’s laid-back demeanor on the DVD’s commentary track is a bit surprising. He and producer Matthew Vaughn are candid about the flaws they see in their work, and they relate a number of amusing anecdotes, such as how the film’s featured dog took an unhealthily sexual bond with a number of cast members. However, their accents and voices have a quietly soothing effect that can lull one to a near-sleep state, which is not so much a reflection on their comments but their reserved mood.
At the beginning of the track, Ritchie mentions that focal star Jason Statham was originally slated to join them on the commentary, and possibly the commentary would have been livelier had he participated if the two-disc set’s token behind-the-scenes documentary, “Making Snatch,” is any indication. This 25-minute featurette is not quite token in execution, however. While it includes a few talking head interviews with some cast members, it also incorporates a number of interesting B-roll segments of Ritchie and the other cast and crew enjoying themselves on-set, whether it be on the job or engaging in a game of chess. The most interesting inclusion in the doc are segments of Statham interviewing Vaughn and Ritchie, simultaneously playing chess with the latter. Vaughn is pretty low-key on the commentary, but the way in which Statham gets him and Ritchie to laugh a lot is a fairly telling indicator of how he could have injected some energy into that audio track.
The other extras are of varying interest. There are interesting side-by-side storyboard/finished scene comparisons for the film’s more visually complex sequences; a selection of rather understandably deleted scenes that can be viewed with commentary by director and producer as well as within the context of the film (albeit in rather cumbersome fashion); a largely useless montage of still photos from the production cut to a cue of John Murphy’s score; the usual cast and crew filmographies and production notes; plus a full-frame version of the film to go with the nicely transferred anamorphic widescreen one. While everything is wrapped up in cool animated menus, there basically isn’t too much here that’s particularly distinctive in the extras department, making this two-disc presentation feel a bit padded out. Nonetheless, it’s a satisfying treatment for fans of this largely overlooked film.
Specifications: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full-frame; English 5.1 Surround; English Dolby Surround; French mono; English and French subtitles; English closed captioning.