No One Wants To See 'Snatched' With Amy Schumer

Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer in Snatched

Director Jonathan Levine ("The Night Before") manages to wring a fairly amusing romp out of what could have been a wet towel of a movie. While there is familiarity on a purely surface level, Schumer's gullibility and Hawn's enabling for both her children just leaves you shaking your head.

Emily is a train wreck as both an adult and a daughter.

There's a scene in the beginning where Linda while peeking through her blinds and checking her locks, tells her daughter to be careful of a crime that happened in a completely different area than where she lives. Schumer's Emily is an adventurous type who gets dumped by her boyfriend just before they were supposed to go on an exotic vacation. Over-protective nearly to a fault, Linda is a relatively normal suburban mom. And while Linda is most comfortable at home with her cats and her agoraphobic middle-aged son - Emily's brother Jefferey (Ike Barinholtz) - she gives in, despite tremendous misgivings about the location and its potential dangers. Needless to say, when you get Emily and Jeffrey under the same roof they behave as if they were five-years old while driving their mother insane. Emily points out she could still be tortured and just forced to write stuff down, but Ruth chooses to ignore this observation. And Linda responds, "You're too old to be acting like this". Linda lived! Linda went to concerts. Of course they manage a rather implausible escape and have to work their way through the Amazon to get help at a US embassy. Emily is brazen, her mother humdrum. I can't help but wonder if Hawn actually didn't remember their first meeting, or was just using the opportunity to tease Schumer in their interview with USA Today. It's not just that none of Emily and Linda's situation seems remotely realistic (if it was realistic, it probably wouldn't be amusing since they'd likely both be dead before the movie was even halfway through), it's that scenes will end and then abruptly transition to the next, with no real sense of how they got where they are, let alone how they got there alive. Oh yeah, it adds, "The kidnappers did bad things too". With an escape, a wild chase, an encounter with an Indiana Jones wannabe, it's one non-stop gag after another with some soft hits and near misses.

Also on this week's episode, a look at the new season of Master of None and a week ahead to Alien: Covenant, where Michael Fassbender as not one but two androids is one of many reasons to take another trip into Ridley Scott's terrifying vision of space. There is no middle ground.

Goldie Hawn on the other hand is still magic and still master of her patented version of screwball comedy.

Joan Cusack Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes in Snatched
Joan Cusack Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes in Snatched

Or more precisely, this is the same character in an earlier stage of development. Did you love her in Trainwreck? At the time, Hawn apparently had no idea who Schumer was. Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes will trek through the Amazon, but there will also be a hero who will rescue them, played by Christopher Meloni. But even by straight man standards, Hawn is given little to do in "Snatched". But beware, he has a few stand-out comedy turns as well. Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin) is the less than helpful agent who Jeffrey harasses to try to get him to find his mom and sister. Thus begins the buddy comedy. There is a fluidity in their feeding from each other that is welcoming and amusing. It's been 15 years now and the actress will be making her comeback with "Snatched" where she shares screen space with Amy Schumer.

Levine uses strong comedic visual set-ups to set up the laughs for the generational gap at play, e.g., Linda may be on Facebook, but has no clue that everything she posts is public which, if Emily had any friends even looking at her FB page, could prove embarrassing. It made sense for her to come back in another duo with Schumer, but it's a shame that its in such a lifeless film.

The trip is less than a success: Emily cares mostly about getting smashed while her mother worries.

Well, when everyone else has quit on you, there's always Mom.

Snatched opens in theatres on Friday, May 12.


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