Snatch’s cool gangsters managed to entertain us despite a first season with a saw-tooth rhythm. Warning, spoilers.
Amid the giants Netflix and Amazon, a small platform tries to make its hole. Crackle, which is not present in France at the moment, is attached to Sony and has a palette of original contents still restricted. This year, she proposed a tantalizing serial project with Snatch, whose script is based on the eponymous film of Guy Ritchie released in 2000. An umpteenth adaptation of a series film that succeeded his bet to believe Crackle, Having renewed for a season 2.
If the show resumes the archetypes of the main characters of the feature film, the showrunner Alex De Rakoff (Dead Man Running) decided to give a blow of broom by rejuvenating his subject. The cast is made up of well-known young actors from the likes of Luke Pasqualino (Skins), Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) and Stephanie Leonidas (Defiance) and new heads like Phoebe Dynevor. As a bonus, Rupert “Weasley” Grint holds one of the main roles. On the paper, Snatch promised a nice distribution that offered millenials a series of funny and crazy gangsters.
Of the first five episodes, which fairly closely follow the plot of the feature film, the show is a solid entertainment with almost as dynamic and inventive achievement as Guy Ritchie. Unfortunately, the concept slows down afterwards and we even get tired of these characters in the end quite smooth and unequal intrigues.
Who ordered a teen drama ?!
Albert, Charlie and Billy are a bunch of friends who try to make a name for themselves in the criminal milieu of London. During their journey, they will confront certain individuals and associate with others: a paranoid and drugged gangster, American Jews, a disillusioned cop, a Roma camp … Like the feature film, the palette of Snatch’s characters are varied and constantly reserve good surprises. They are all colorful and try to get their share of the cake, with a fucking determination that engenders comical situations like the famous golden bath that Chloe tries to refourgate to the rich first rich and bling-bling came.
All the actors play their score even if each spectator finds his little darling: Charlie is a big teddy completely in the moon, Albert is sure of him but fails to grow in the shadow of his father, Billy is a boxer missed in Big heart … Difficult not to take affection for these endearing characters, however quickly betrayed by the scenario of the series.
As episodes continue, Snatch loses both impact and affect. The plot around Vic Hill’s gold turns quickly in circles so the writers have chosen to dig their main characters. But it was a false good idea, because in doing so, the defects of the show become all the more blatant. After episode 5, Snatch falls into a lamentable teen drama, full of cliches and romances with the water of undrinkable rose. The actors reveal a smooth face and too beautiful to be true that recalls the bad hours of Gossip Girl or the recent Riverdale. And that really does not fit with the gruff and tortured characters of Guy Ritchie’s film.
It’s even worse when the screenwriters focus on the parents. The duo composed of Vic Hill and Hat’em is frankly heavy and episodes 6, 7 and 8 give the wrong impression of filling. Fortunately, there is the awesome Bob Fink (Marc Warren, perfect in ripou cop) to revitalize the Vic Hill gold race.
Even the staging, lively and deliciously asymmetrical at the beginning of the series, becomes bland and strangely banal in these episodes. Some scenes remind us of prehistory, especially when Chloe, Lotti and Lily do the housework while men clean their weapons before going to war …
In the end, gangsters at Snatch’s cool smoke, stuff their mouths, fuck and occasionally lean on the trigger to scare their opponents. But unlike the film, they never wonder if their actions are good or bad, at no time do they take a step back to question themselves. While playing the teen drama card, Snatch fell into her own trap, where she could have been both fun and intelligent.
Emptiness and rather superficial, the series of Alex De Rakoff remains however promising. She has just passed the first (and worst) stage of her life on the small screen, namely an initial season entirely imprinted with the basic material. She can now release the big caliber and make us want to follow the disastrous adventures of these London strikes.