Snatched Review

The Plot

Stuck with a non-refundable exotic holiday for two after a breakup, a directionless young woman resorts to taking her reluctant mother along instead. Unfortunately the dysfunctional pair get much more adventure than they ever bargained for when they venture outside of the safe confines of their holiday resort and get swiftly caught up in a world of violence, kidnapping and death.

The Good

Goldie Hawn returns to the big screen and quickly proves a good partner for Amy Schumer as the pair work their way through all the typical mother/daughter dysfunctions. Schumer likewise clearly benefit from having someone consistently in place to play against. If the film had been attempted as solo vehicle with Schumer’s character facing her Latin American misadventures alone it would surely have proved unwatchable. Thankfully the leading ladies are a comfortable match and it helps spread the comedic responsibilities around.

Though the film is noticeably heavy handing in shoehorning Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack into the supporting cast, ultimately they deliver enough scene stealing laughs to justify the overtly clumsy way the film introduces them. Their contribution is good enough to make the lengthy set up it requires feel like it was at least worth it. Likewise The Mindy Project star Ike Barinholtz manages to deliver surprisingly consistent laughs as Schumer’s geeky housebound brother. He keeps what could so easily have been a pointless sub-plot distraction frequently amusing instead.

Writer Katie Dippold and producer Paul Feig manage to dramatically improve on their critically and commercially drubbed Ghostbusters reboot. This time Dippold’s script succeeds in at least crafting a fair few satisfying set pieces, one liners and supporting characters. Though Schumer still regularly steers proceedings towards her own most comfortable territory at least Dipplod’s script keeps the comedy a little more diverse. Schumer’s signature shtick is undoubtedly more appealing when diluted down.

At least Snatched is never dull or disgusting in the way so many similarly themed low brow movies become. To that extent it does surpass the lowest expectations even if it falls short of achieving truly memorable success.

The Bad

While Snatched represents an unquestionable vast improvement on Amy Schumer’s infamously disliked recent Netflix comedy special, those that loath Schumer’s trademark style of lazy self-deprecation will undoubtedly find her character in Snatched yet another unappealing prospect.

Schumer’s default self-loathing caricature of someone utterly oblivious, selfish and slovenly is fast becoming overly familiar. It also persists in making her readily embraced and self-proclaimed status as a feminist icon feel deeply ironic. The only thing that really saves Snatched is that it isn’t as egocentric and one note as Schumer’s self-obsessed stand up material.

While Goldie Hawn’s return to the big screen is indeed welcome, it’s a little strange to see the famously precocious star now morphed fully into a neurotic mother role. Perhaps after a self-imposed sabbatical and career lows like The Banger Sisters this is likely a deliberate decision though.

Snatched does much to help writer Katie Dippold and producer Paul Feig atone for the unmitigated disaster of their female fronted Ghostbusters flop, however it’s still the same kind of set piece slapstick cringe comedy that will divide audiences between giggles and groans. For example, watching Schumer get inevitably caught attempting to wash her vagina in a public bathroom is either amusingly awful or just awful, depending on your point of view…

The Ugly Truth

Snatched certainly won’t win over those already firmly opposed to Amy Schumer, but it offers enough genuine laughs to mostly amuse audiences seeking a simple guilty pleasure. Goldie Hawn’s welcomed resurgence and a scene stealing Wanda Sykes are also notable positives.

Review by Russell Nelson

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