‘Snatched’ Lets a Good Premise Go to Waste

Despite the decades that separate them, seventysomething comedic actress Goldie Hawn and thirtysomething comedic actress Amy Schumer make for a good team.

Hawn can feign bewilderment with the best of them, and Schumer, a seasoned standup comic, delivers one-liners with cutting sarcasm.

While they display decent chemistry in the new action comedy film, Snatched, the movie ultimately sputters to its conclusion after making a promising sprint out of the gate. It opens area-wide on Friday.

While action/adventure comedies of a similar nature often rely on a remarkably far-fetched premise, that’s not the case with Snatched. Its premise is a solid one. In one fell swoop, Emily (Schumer) loses her job (she’s a retail rep who shops more than she sells) and gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend. Schumer plays both scenes for laughs, but neither situation comes off as completely preposterous.

As a result, she has to find someone to accompany her on a prepaid trip to Ecuador. When she sees photos of how her agoraphobic mother Linda (Hawn) used to be outgoing and adventurous, she convinces her to help her “put the ‘fun’ back in non-refundable.” They jet off to a tropical paradise, and the hijinks begin in a rather predictable fashion.

While hanging at the hotel bar, Schumer meets a good-lucking guy who takes her and her mother on a jeep tour deep into the jungle where they’re promptly kidnapped and transported to Columbia. It’s at this point that the film slides into a tailspin.

With the assistance of a hapless trail guide (Christopher Meloni), Emily and Linda manage elude their captors. But they end up marching through some rather remote parts of the country and having some deeply serious talks, bringing the film’s fast-paced comedy to a screeching halt.

All the while, Linda’s nerdy stay-at-home son (Ike Barinholtz) harasses a U.S. State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin) and threatens to text him Game of Thrones spoilers if he doesn’t send a rescue team to find his mom and sister.

The film redeems itself a bit with the finale as the duo's friends from the resort in Ecuador (Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack) resurface and bring some good laughs with them. Too bad they had to disappear mid-film.
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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