Movie Review: Snatched


By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

So I think it’s safe to say that we were all born at one time, and that we all have a mother. And, with that being said, I want to wish every mother out there a Happy Mother’s Day. Maybe you’ll take mom out for a Mother’s Day brunch, or on a small weekend getaway. Maybe you won’t be in town due to other engagements, so you’ll send her flowers and give her a personal call. Or, just maybe, you’ll go take an exotic vacation with her south of the border. Such is the basic foundation for Jonathan Levine’s latest film, Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and the oft-forgot, but still classic, Goldie Hawn. Just for clarification, Snatched does not involve Mother’s Day.

Emily (Amy Schumer) is having a bad week. First, she’s fired from her clothing store job. Then her rising music-star boyfriend Michael (Randall Park) dumps her because, when’s he’s touring, there will be so much p*#$y, that he can’t be in a relationship. Am I allowed to make that reference? Too late. Anyways, even worse, she previously bought two, nonrefundable tickets to Ecuador and now has no one to go with. Last resort: take her mom, Linda (Goldie Hawn). Linda is divorced and set in her ways, and her ways do not involve gallivanting to Ecuador, drinking alcohol, dancing, making out with hot Latino men, or shenanigans. It involves romantic novels, being in bed by 8 PM, and cats. But, being a good mother, she accompanies her daughter. Everything seems fine until a cute fling for Emily, James (Tom Bateman), pretty much leads them to be captured by criminals. Now it’s up to the mother/daughter duo to find their way out and make it back home, preferably alive.

If you know anything about Amy Schumer, then you know what this film will be like. Now, I must warn you, this movie is nothing like Trainwreck, which was comedic genius. This is nowhere near the level of that film, so make sure you tame your expectations before entering the theater. While Snatched has a solid skeleton for a story, and plenty of opportunities to thrive, it misses more than it hits with comedic concepts. Too often it goes more for the slapstick approach and underutilizes aspects and characters that could lead to comic gold. For instance, the relationship between Emily’s agoraphobic brother, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz,) and state department official Morgan (Bashir Salahuddin), which is hilarious, is put on the back burner. Or that of Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack, two travelers who happen to be in Ecuador as well, one of whom with former covert military experience. So much could have been developed with these characters, who added much needed flavor, yet were minimized. To some extent, we get it, this is a film about Schumer and Hawn, yet the formula feels repeated and our ability to push disbelief can only go so far with this kind of comedy. It’s definitely no Tropic Thunder, which could get away with a little more comedy of this sort due to its creativity and great performances. What we have is a feeling that Levine kind of sat back and allowed Schumer and Hawn to do their thing. Given the success of Trainwreck, I get it, but Judd Apatow was helming that one and we know his track record and pedigree. Levine should have taken a little more control of the reins on this one.

We’ve seen this character from Schumer before: the girl who is irresponsible, foul-mouthed, sloppy, and sexually unapologetic (but always fun – that tramp stamp joke was classic!). It’s what we’ve come to expect and it works for her. Yet I feel, over time, if she keeps playing this same character over and over, we’re going to get a little tired of it. Hawn, after a near 15-year hiatus, makes her return to film and fits right into the role she’s given. Barinholtz is a scene-stealer when he gets the opportunity, and is pretty damn hilarious throughout. Christopher Meloni is fun as an Indiana Jones-type character who – this is debatable – is out of his mind. And Oscar Jaenada plays the film’s bad guy in all his stereotypical glory!

I’m not going to lie, I had much higher hopes for Snatched because of the success of Trainwreck, and maybe that was my downfall. Yet I can’t help but think that because Schumer and Levine maybe tried too hard to be funny, so many scenes ended up being more of a chuckle than an LMAO. There are a couple of good scenes, and some great dialogue here and there, and a bizarre scene involving a tapeworm (reminiscent of Alien to some extent) that adds a little something extra, yet overall, one can’t help but feel let down with this film. Snatched isn’t a bad film in that it is still entertaining and will make you laugh here and there, it just misses out on so many opportunities and goes for the physical comedy gold, reminding me of older comedic film of yesteryear.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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