Reviewed by GREG KING

Director: Jonathan Levine

Star: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Tom Bateman, Christopher Meloni, Oscar Jaenada, Bashir Salahuddin, Randall Park.

Image result for snatched goldie hawn movie images

Following her big screen debut in 2015 with Trainwreck, comedian Amy Schumer hits the screen for her second outing. But this time around the results are a little substandard.

Emily Middleton (Schumer) is an obnoxious, vulgar and self-obsessed thirtysomething who has basically wasted her life. On the eve of a dream vacation to Ecuador she finds herself dumped by her musician boyfriend Michael (Randall Park). With non-refundable tickets, Emily desperately tries to find someone to accompany her on the trip with little success. As a last resort, she turns to her overly cautious and overly protective mother Linda (Goldie Hawn), who leads a quiet life in her neat suburban home with her cats, her pottery and her agoraphobic son Jeffrey (Ike Brainholtz), who never leaves the house. Emily convinces Linda to put the “fun into non-refundable”, and she reluctantly agrees to accompany Emily on this exotic holiday.

Once in Ecuador Emily meets the handsome and charming James (Tom Bateman) in the hotel bar. He offers to take Linda and Emily on a little trip to see some of the local sights off the usual tourist path. But the two women find themselves kidnapped by local gangsters under the control of kingpin Morgado (Oscar Jaenada). The two women manage to escape his clutches, and as they make their way through the dangerous Amazon jungle they begin to slowly bond.

They also get some help from Russell (Law & Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni), a second-rate Indiana Jones-type who is ultimately not much help. Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and Barb (an unrecognisable Joan Cusack), a former special forces operative who cut out her own tongue to prevent her revealing vital secrets if captured, also try to track down Linda and Emily. Meanwhile the stay at home Jeffery urgently tries to convince Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin, from Late Nights With Jimmy Fallon), an increasingly frustrated State Department official, to rescue the pair.

Snatched marks Hawn’s return to the big screen for her first movie in fifteen years (her last appearance was in 2002’s The Banger Sisters with Susan Sarandon), but she finds herself playing second fiddle to Amy Schumer in this so-so action comedy. Hawn, who had such a perky presence and goofy charm in the 70s and 80s, deserves better than this. She is given few funny lines or memorable moments here. This is Schumer’s vehicle, and she is fairly full on with her aggressive presence, her potty mouth and her overt sexuality. Fans of the generously proportioned actress know what to expect here, and it seems as though some of her scenes have been improvised.

The script comes from Katie Dippold (The Heat, etc) and she serves up some self-deprecating humour as well as some gross out gags. But this rather generic action comedy lacks originality and has little that is clever to say. Director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, etc) keeps things moving along nicely, but this is an uneven film. There are some slapstick moments punctuating the film. I enjoyed more the increasingly annoying and prickly exchanges between the nerdy Jeffrey and Morgan, and these scenes provide the film with some of its biggest laughs. And the antics of Ruth and Barb also provide the film with some comic highlights.

While something of a disappointment, Snatched is not a complete trainwreck, and will appeal to fans of Schumer’s unique brand of humour.


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