Snatched

Jacob Richardson | 12/05/2017

Fumbling, clichéd, tiresome and a terrible waste of Goldie Hawn's talents, Snatched struggles harder to find laughs than Schumer and Hawn do to find their way out of the Amazon. 

Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is shocked when her boyfriend breaks up with her, only days before they are due to go on a romantic vacation to Ecuador. When none of her friends are available to go with her (for various reasons, including the humorous one of "you owe me $300 Emily"), she convinces her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn) to take the non-refundable second ticket and join her for a luxury getaway in Ecuador. 

 

Soon enough though, the relaxing, opulent vacation is turned on its head when Emily and Linda are kidnapped and taken to Colombia. Their only hope lies in a dangerous escape to the US Embassy in Bogota, and a concerted effort from Emily's agoraphobic brother Jeremy back in the US. 

Schumer burst into our collective consciousness in 2015's Judd Apatow directed Trainwreck. Snatched will have you longing for a director with a comedic hand as steady as Apatows. Instead, the film is brought together by Jonathan Levine, whose previous work on 50/50 and Warm Bodies hasn't exactly correlated into a strong comedic voice in Snatched. Instead, he sidelines Hawn, making her a worrywart mother with almost zero comedic value. Hawn is a great comedic performer, and coming off the back of 15 years of retirement, it's a shame that she is squandered with a wet blanket of a character. When she fires off one razor sharp line about relationship age gaps while lounging by the pool, there's a palpable feeling of what this movie could have been; but just as fast as it comes, it floats away, replaced by the unoriginal, inoffensive drivel that the rest of the movie touts. 

 

Some of this is likely down to screenwriter Katie Dippold, who writes Emily as a grating, painfully naive and aggressively millennial-trope laden woman who struggles to make a single funny gag throughout. Schumer was charming and hilarious in Trainwreck, but here we get a warped version of her personality that removes any of the bite and leaves us with a vacuous impression of a drunk 21 year old for the entire movie. Schumer's at her best when she can lash out, providing bitter, witty criticisms on the world around, but here she is muted. 

 

The saving grace really is the movie's bevy of smaller supporting roles. Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes play ex-special ops, bum-bag toting tourists that light up the film with a sense of ridiculous fun whenever they appear. Similarly, Christopher Meloni's intrepid explorer character is gloriously hammy, and perfectly undercut and subverted later in the piece. It's interesting, because these supporting characters, along with a perennially unhelpful State Department employee, nail the tone that the whole movie seems to have been shooting for. 

Conclusion

Despite memorable turns from Cusack, Sykes and some of the other supporting characters, Snatched is a poor imitation of Trainwreck that misses everything we loved about Amy Schumer, wastes Goldie Hawn, and seems intent on delivering up the most banal plot of the year. A senseless, insulting, waste of time for all involved.