Snatched: Film Review
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Meloni, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz
Director: Jonathan Levine
Luring Goldie Hawn out of retirement 15 years after her last appearance would appear to be a coup for Amy Schumer's particular brand of comedy.
But Snatched squanders both Hawn and Schumer with a script and story that feels a little too haphazard to bring many laughs to the fore.
Schumer is self-absorbed Emily, who, as the film starts, is dumped by her fella (Randall Park, in an all-too brief cameo) on the eve of a trip to Ecuador. Fleeing home with her tail between her legs, Emily feels a pang of remorse for her once globe-trotting, now stay-at-home catsitter mother Linda (Hawn) after she discovers a photo album filled with people and places she's been.
On the spur of the moment, Emily invites her now cautious mother along in an attempt to re-connect.
However, it all goes to hell in a hand-cart when Emily and her mother are kidnapped and they set about trying to escape.
It's fair to say that Snatched has moments of comic bravura within.
Schumer once again proves adept at nailing the cruder and grosser elements of the female comedy that's been long ignored in mainstream media and comedy. From "Did she really just say that?" one-liners to scenes where she makes herself the butt of the joke in the worst possible way, Schumer's strength lies in the ability to shock.
And it's used to get some good solid laughs early on - particularly when Emily is trying to pull a bloke who's interested in her. Despite her continuing obnoxiousness and vacuously weak personality, Schumer's strength lies in giving the character of Emily the sort of vibe that many of the female audience will feel great empathy with.
Less successful though is the script, which feels piecemeal, under-developed and generally squanders its characters for no real impact.
Hawn is largely wasted, and the potential for a story-line that looked at how the Instagram loving Emily can't connect, whereas Linda used to connect with humanity while abroad and now largely feels sidelined by a digitally obsessed vacuous world goes wanting after tantalisingly being teased early on.
It doesn't help that the script bounces from one sequence to the next, with vague threads trying to pull them together - and while the episodic nature of it all proffers a few guffaws here and there, there's a general nagging feeling that it could have been more.
Christopher Meloni's OTT performance feels like something out of an 80s romance adventure film and wildly out of place, but the script by Ghostbusters' scribe Kate Dippold can't really seem to nail a thread and follow it through, despite the potential dream comedic team on the screen.
Ultimately, while Snatched is a shade over 85 minutes, it feels a lot longer, thanks in large parts due to a script that doesn't bring enough funny and criminally under-uses its leads.
If it had a stronger script and perhaps a bit more depth as well as some more screwball, this could have had great potential. Instead, it feels like a lot of the potential wins it could have traded on have been used to help defeat be snatched from the jaws of victory.