Snatched (2017)

  • Time: 91 min
  • Genre: Action | Comedy
  • Director: Jonathan Levine
  • Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz

Storyline:

After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton persuades her ultra-cautious mother, Linda to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda realize that working through their differences as mother and daughter – in unpredictable, hilarious fashion – is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they have fallen into.

2 reviews

  • Pairing Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn in a comedic romp should be cause for celebration. After all, Schumer has become the leading female comic star in recent years, what with her sketch comedy television series Inside Amy Schumer and 2015’s Trainwreck bringing her both critical and commercial successes. Hawn is a comic legend, first surfacing on the scene as Laugh-In’s effervescent kook before becoming an Academy Award-winning actress who took charge of her career by also becoming a producer (most notably on Private Benjamin, arguably her most famous role). Hawn paved the way for someone like Schumer (and, really, any rom-com star from Julia Roberts to Cameron Diaz to Reese Witherspoon worth their salt), so their teaming is akin to two generations of comic royalty banding together to deliver fun, laughs, and good times.

    Except they’ve been trapped in Snatched, which is less a romp than a slog and an increasingly unfunny one at that. Since they are who they are, Schumer and Hawn remain endearingly watchable, doing their best to breathe some signs of life in D.O.A. material, but Snatched seems constructed to thwart their attempts at every turn.

    The prelude is by far the best thing about the film with Schumer immediately firing comic jabs as the lovable loser with the potty mouth. Schumer’s Emily Middleton is seen mulling over wardrobe choices for her impending trip to Ecuador with her musician boyfriend Michael (Randall Park). Turns out she’s actually the sales clerk, not the customer, and she’s duly fired for not exactly giving it her all. Her response? A characteristically Schumer one: “I wouldn’t work here if you paid me.” As if losing her job isn’t bad enough, Michael breaks up with her, leaving her stranded with a non-refundable holiday package. After failing to get any of her supposed friends to accompany here, she convinces her mom Linda (Hawn) to come along after seeing a photo album of her mom in her younger, more carefree days. Who is this woman and where has she been? Emily thinks, looking at the woman she’s always known as overprotective and unadventurous.

    They arrive in Ecuador and the film really starts to unravel. After some poolside banter (“Why are you dressed like Powder?” Emily asks her covered-up mom; “I didn’t know they had a day care program at the hotel,” Linda remarks after seeing an older man and a much-younger woman walk by), the film proceeds to lurch from one tired scene to another. Emily is taken in by a handsome Brit (Tom Bateman), who entices her with booze-fuelled capoeira parties and promises of more adventures. Except what he delivers to Emily and tagalong Linda is a stay in one of South American’s grungiest cells with some fairly scary men as their hosts. The rest of the film tracks mother and daughter bonding as they escape from their captors and try to find their way out of the jungle and return back home.

    There’s really not much to say about a film that not only manages to squander Schumer and Hawn but also Wanda Sykes and especially Joan Cusack, the latter pair cast as “platonic friends.” There are some sight gags, including one involving a tapeworm being pulled out of Emily’s throat which, much like Snatched, goes nowhere fast and stays there for longer than it should.

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  • 2017’s Snatched is my latest review. It has Goldie Hawn doing decent work with her first film role in 15 years. It also has Amy Schumer channeling well, Amy Schumer. This thing feels like Romancing the Stone minus a feasible account, a wooing subplot, and an ounce of integrity. Within its 97-minute running time, Snatched still provided me with a few guffaws along the way.

    The story goes like this: Emily Middleton (Schumer) loses her job at a clothing store and then gets dumped by her rocker boyfriend. She was going to vacation in Ecuador with him but winds up taking her mother instead (Linda Middleton played by Hawn). Chaos ensues when mom and daughter touchdown in South America only to be kidnapped by some bad dudes and then held for ransom.

    With a tighter screenplay and less improvisation, Snatched might have worked entirely. What’s mostly on screen however, is an uneven mixture of savagery and humor. You could almost call this flick a black comedy if it weren’t so dumbed-down. Hawn and Schumer are in peril so much, you don’t know whether you should laugh at them, laugh with them, or heinously fear for their lives. And as I mentioned earlier, Snatched doesn’t have much of a plot either. You can’t really figure out why Emily and Linda are being abducted, you don’t know much about their captors, and you don’t really know what said captors actually do within their criminal operation.

    Basically, Snatched is hit-or-miss. It either has nastily violent moments that feel out of place or stupid funny moments you surrender to. Oddly, the supporting players participating in the stupid fun are the parts that made me chuckle the most. Ike Barinholtz playing Schumer’s character’s brother, is a hoot. Ike is like the ultimate portrait of a cinematic goofball. In truth, he has a comedic style all his own. Then, there’s the cameo at the beginning of Snatched involving Emily’s boyfriend (played by up-and-comer Randall Park). It’s the funniest bit in this thing and one of the best breakup scenes ever. Finally, there’s Joan Cusack portraying without any lines, a tumbling vacationer who helps Schumer and Hawn’s troupers escape the kidnappers. She’s hilarious as someone specializing in black ops and I’m pretty sure she had her own stunt double on set. Natch.

    All in all, the moments with Barinholtz, Park, and Cusack are sadly scattered. They don’t cause you to dislike Goldie and Amy. They just make you salivate for something better. As for Jonathan Levine’s footloose direction in Snatched, well it’s better than the lumpy script presented. Bottom line: You’ll laugh a few times but in hindsight, Snatched is a little too “detached”. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

    Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars

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