SNATCHED (USA/15A/90mins)
Directed by Jonathan Levine. Starring Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack, Wanda Sykes
THE PLOT: After she is dumped by her boyfriend, Emily (Amy Schumer) can’t find anyone to take his spot on her dream holiday to Ecuador, other than her over protective and paranoid mother Linda (Goldie Hawn). Not long after the two arrive in Ecuador, they are kidnapped by violent gangsters, and must find a way to survive.
THE VERDICT: ‘Snatched’ is written by Katie Dippold, a writer who has made a name for herself in writing scripts for female-led comedies, including ‘The Heat’ and the recent ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. The trouble with ‘Snatched’ is that it relies on one joke, an annoying basic botch lead character and criminally underuses some great actors.
The cast is led by Amy Schumer, who makes Emily a basic, bratty and selfish character; the kind of character she usually sends up in her TV sketch show. The joke quickly wears thin with Emily, and it is hard to shake the feeling that Emily is a character that is aimed at making young millennials laugh at the older millennials who have never quite got their lives together. Goldie Hawn does not fare much better as the overprotective Linda, who seems only to be on board to bicker with Schumer. The rest of the cast features Ike Barinholtz as Emily’s agoraphobic brother Jeffrey; a fully annoying and bratty character that has very little to redeem him. Also featuring in ‘Snatched’ are Wanda Sykes as Ruth, a character that talks far too much, and Joan Cusack as Barb, a character who does not talk at all, which seems like a horrible underuse of a wonderful actress.
Screenwriter Katie Dippold seems to have had the idea of the kidnapped behaving more badly than the kidnappers, and this is the main basis for the film; a joke that wears thin very quickly. Also the desperation of Emily as a character makes it hard for the audience to relate to her, and makes her feel as though she simply could not exist in the real world. The jokes do not land for much of the film, and the overall feel of the film becomes drawn out and tiresome very quickly.
Director Jonathan Levine never manages to get the pacing of ‘Snatched’ moving, leaving it feeling drawn out and overly long. The comic timing of the film is also lacking, leaving characters feeling more crass than comedic, and never manages to shake off the slow, annoying feel of the film.
In all, ‘Snatched’ is simply not funny, and ultimately feels tiresome and boring, and offensive, although not inclusively offensive. The central joke of the film wears thin very quickly, and the rest of the laughs are sadly missing although the holes in the film for the jokes are obvious and glaring. ‘Snatched’ should have been smart, funny and over the top, but it fails at every single hurdle.
Review by Brogen Hayes

  • filmbuff2011

    Goldie Hawn returns to acting for the first time in 15 years in comedy Snatched. Backed by her co-star Amy Schumer, it’s a reminder of Hawn’s comedic genius… but it’s also a star vehicle that needs a lot of fine tuning.

    Emily (Schumer) is having a bad day. She’s been double-dumped, first losing her job in a clothes shop and then losing her boyfriend not long after. She had booked a non-refundable holiday to Ecuador and now has nobody to go with. So, she invites her cat-loving mother Linda (Hawn) to join her instead. The two them arrive in Ecuador and start relaxing, with Emily flirting with fellow tourist James (Tom Bateman). It’s a trap to ensnare unsuspecting tourists though, as soon the two ladies are kidnapped by local criminal Morgado (Oscar Jaenada). Meanwhile, back home Emily’s brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) is desperately trying to get the State Department to send in the cavalry. But these ladies can handle themselves…

    It’s not much of a surprise to discover that two of the key talents involved with the Ghostbusters reboot were behind Snatched. Writer Katie Dippold and producer Paul Feig have their fingerprints on this film, less so director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies). It’s an amiable-enough knockabout comedy, built mostly around the mother-daughter chemistry between Schumer and Hawn. They make a good onscreen pairing, getting into all kinds of scrapes on their South American crime caper. Though Hawn’s classiness only highlights Schumer’s lack of it. For this reviewer anyway, the jury is still out on Schumer as a lead actress. While she may have been winning in Trainwreck, she’s whiny and annoyingly clueless here. Talk about the dumb blonde stereotype.

    It doesn’t help that the script is crass and juvenile at times, displaying the kind of toilet humour (literally) that belongs more in a Farrelly Brothers film. If that was an attempt at being as hip and cool as the boys, it doesn’t really work. What does work though are some well-placed gags, such as a Romancing The Stone-style subplot which ends before it has even started. Some of Dippold’s one-liners are zingers too. It’s just a shame that there’s an overall laziness to the film, not helped by Levine’s slack, anonymous direction. It’s an unsophisticated comedy which soon becomes tiresome and entirely predictable. If Hawn is thinking of a comeback, then she really needs to find a script worthy of her. Snatched is instantly disposable fluff. **

  • emerb

    “Snatched” features a real dream comic pairing – Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. They star in this “buddy”, tourists-in-jeopardy comedy about a mother-daughter duo who set out for a South American vacation and promptly get kidnapped. Unlike “Trainwreck”, Schumer didn’t write the script here. However, Katie Dippold (“The Heat”) and director, Jonathan Levine (“50/50” and “The Night Before”), have clearly been influenced by her style and they are right at home with this modern comedy which features plenty of bawdy physical scenes, gross-out gags and crude language, so don’t be appalled – you have been warned.

    Schumer plays Emily Middleton, a sexually forward, bawdy and shallow young woman who has planned a romantic trip to Ecuador with her musician boyfriend (Randall Park). When he unceremoniously dumps her, her plans are spoiled and she is left with two unrefundable tickets. After being turned down by friends, neighbours and pretty much anybody else, Emily persuades her mother, Linda (Hawn), to join her. Her mom is divorced, living with cats and her nerdy, agoraphobic son (Ike Barinholtz – who I found very irritating and unfunny), stalks her daughter on facebook and constantly criticizes her binge drinking and so there is a complete personality clash. Nonetheless, it’s not long before they are poolside at a fancy Ecuadoran hotel but they soon learn that they have very different ideas of how to enjoy themselves. Linda wants to get shade from the sun, relax to read her book and lather on the sunblock while Emily wants to
    drink, party and flirt with strangers. Needless to say the holiday doesn’t go according to plan. On a night out, Emily meets James (Tom Bateman), a handsome, and charming British gent who persuades her to take her and
    her mother on a funfilled trip the next day. It turns out, however, that James is involved in a kidnapping operation masterminded by a nefarious gang of Columbian drug lords and Emily and Linda are his latest victims. When they foil his plans by escaping from the cell in which they were imprisoned, they find that their lives are in danger as the criminals hunt them down through the jungles of the Amazon.

    The plot and character development may be somewhat shallow but the real reason to see this movie is for the charisma of Amy Schumer and also the fact that she is willing to do pretty much anything for a laugh. The scenes where she doesn’t appear lack energy and spark and the pleasures in the film come almost exclusively from her and Hawn playing off each other. It’s also great fun seeing Hawn back to her best, at 71 no less. This marks her first screen appearance since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters” and while “Snatched” isn’t her finest
    performance, the comic duo look similar, their personalities blend well and the fractious mother/daughter relationship between them really works. Worth noting also that Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack (playing an amusing mute), and Christopher Meloni all shine in supporting weirdo roles. As a big Amy Schumer fan, I had a blast watching this comic caper. Her trademark brand of crude comedy is genius and highly infectious, making this movie very enjoyable to watch. Admittedly, it fails to reach the heights of “Trainwreck” but nonetheless
    it’s edgy, witty and occasionally hilarious. Sight gags feature aplenty (including a boob appearance), pithy one-liners and a number of extended raunchy comic sequences, most of which pay off. While the marketing for this film has been aimed at women, that’s not to say men won’t enjoy it too. A big summer comedy headed by two women is a rare thing and I like that this comedy isn’t just another summer sequel or remake. It doesn’t cover any new territory and it’s not going to qualify as one of the greatest action-comedies of all time but it’s definitely a very welcome and most pleasing 90 minute form of escapism and let’s face it, who couldn’t do with a few laughs?