Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Emily (Amy Schumer) loses her job and boyfriend in the same day, and cannot find a friend to accompany her on a non-refundable vacation to Ecuador. After some persuading, she convinces her paranoid, overly-cautious mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) to join her. Linda is reluctant to partake in the same kind of debauchery as her daughter, but does accompany Emily on a day trip with a local young man – where the pair find themselves kidnapped and eventually on a run for their lives.
It may sound like the plot of a horror movie or a thriller, but Snatched is anything but. Writer Katie Dippold has crafted an Adventure-Comedy in the same vein as her work on the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy-vehicle The Heat, and then tailored it to Schumer’s style. Dippold packs in some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments into the Film, along with clever quips and moments thankfully missing from the trailers. It becomes a bit predictable in its third act – and has trouble finding its footing when it shifts from a raunchy comedy to an action picture early on – but Dippold and Director Jonathan Levine (of The Night Before and Warm Bodies) do their very best to keep Snatched consistently entertaining.
To say Schumer’s brand of comedy is polarizing is an understatement. People either love her or love to hate her, so your enjoyment of Snatched will hinge on how you feel about Schumer. She plays the same kind of character she has perfected in her stand-up routines and her Film Trainwreck, and only ventures slightly out of that box over the course of the Film’s running time. I thought she was just as hilarious as always, and was actually surprised at how she excelled during the Film’s action scenes. I wish the same could be said for some of her Physical Comedy scenes, which are increasingly ridiculous and nowhere near as enjoyable (and this includes that incredibly-silly gross-out gag involving a tapeworm).
While she is funny on her own, Schumer benefits greatly from being paired with Hawn. The legendary Oscar-winning actress has not been in a live-action film since 2002’s The Banger Sisters – which I highly doubt most people would remember existing – and has a total blast here. The chemistry between the pair is delightful, and Hawn has a habit of overshadowing her younger co-star with relative ease. Hawn seems to have problems with the Physical Comedy aspects of the Film as well, but she still commits to every moment with the grace of a seasoned professional. I can only hope she continues to stays out of her self-imposed retirement – her husband cannot be the only one dominating the box office!
Supporting turns from Bashir Salahuddin, Christopher Meloni and Ike Barinholtz are simultaneously hysterical and annoying – but the real MVPs are Wanda Sykes and a completely mute Joan Cusack (and yes, there was no typo in that sentence). I do not want to spoil how they factor into the plot, but they manage to steal the show every time they appear no matter the circumstances.
Snatched is a lot of fun even with how ridiculously-silly and uneven it often becomes. The inspired pairing of Schumer and Hawn leads to some genuine laughs, and the supporting work form Sykes and Cusack is absolutely uproarious. While Snatched may not change your opinion on Schumer as an Actor and a Comic, the Film is still quite entertaining and not a bad way to spend time with Mom on Mother’s Day weekend.
20th Century Fox Canada release SNATCHED on Friday, May 12, 2017.