Starring Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack
Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies) is a sweet guy, he is just a terrible director. His early work including The Wackness (2008) offered hints at a promising career, but the 40-year-old has been on a downward spiral ever since and Snatched is the worst yet. Amy Schumer has officially stolen the most overrated comedian title from Melissa McCarthy, who had up until Schumer’s debut, filled the Sandler/Ferrell vacancy. Movies like Snatched are not written for specific characters, they are skeletal scripts tailored to fit whichever comedian happens to be the most popular at the time of the studio greenlight. Schumer, like those before her, exposes what we already knew was a one act, one gear type performer. Former female comedian Goldie Hawn is resurrected after a 15-year-long absence for a lackluster ride.
Emily Middleton (Schumer) gets fired from her retail job, dumped by her bandmate boyfriend days before she is supposed to head down to Ecuador for a vacation. Her alarmist mother Linda (Hawn) resists accompanying her boozy daughter on the trip, but ends up tagging along out of duty and pity. What begins as a relaxing experience by the pool with fruity drinks, quickly turns deadly when the American duo are abducted and forced to improvise their way to safety. From accidental deaths, to tape worms, Emily and Linda are lost in the jungle, with only fellow tourists Ruth (Skyes) and Bard (Cusack) close enough for aid.
The script couldn’t have been more than just a few bullet points, dependent on Schumer to fill in the gaps and make funny, which she fails, miserably.
Aimed at the Mother’s Day weekend, Snatched (poorly titled, “Non-reFUNdable” would have been better) might not be appropriate material, unless your mom likes Schumer’s vulgar comedy style. Surprisingly only her second leading role, Snatched reveals how saturated social media is with the blond star. You might argue Trainwreck offered something different to the theatrical market, but Snatched peddles a familiar formula. It starts with parents misusing Facebook jokes, more of Schumer’s semen quips and the usual barrage of smut that flows from her mouth. The script is so weak, Schumer/Hawn can’t even fill the 90-min requirement with their chemistry. Former MADtv comedian Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) plays the dorky brother/son, getting far more screen time than he should so this dud hits the minimal 90 minutes.
A CGI tapeworm being coaxed out of Emily’s mouth is one of the film’s many low points. This gag, like others, hits a certain level of camp and the scene just ends, cuts to “hours later”, because filmmakers have no idea how to transition from one stunt to another. Katie Dippold’s script couldn’t have been more than just a few bullet points dependent on Schumer to fill in the gaps and make funny, which she fails, miserably. 71-year-old Hawn doesn’t do much here, she has one scene by a waterfall where she defends her parenting skills, beyond that she is just a reflector for Schumer’s unfunny jokes. Audiences who find predictable slapstick, sitcom-like, crude humor funny will have an air-conditioned escape, but there is nothing new under the sun here for anyone with expectations.
Schumer delivers more of her one note comedy routine in a lazy script that resurrects Hawn for no great purpose.