Movie Review: “Snatched” (R)
Nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like a raunchy R-rated comedy, so guess what? “Trainwreck” star Amy Schumer and national treasure Goldie Hawn have got you covered in “Snatched,” the latest comedy from “The Wackness,” “Warm Bodies,” and “50/50” director Jonathan Levine.
In “Snatched,” Emily Middleton (Schumer) has been fired from her dead-end job and dumped by her rockstar boyfriend (Randall Park), both within a matter of minutes. Adding insult to injury, this most unfortunate woman was but a few days away from taking a nonrefundable trip to Ecuador with her now ex-boyfriend. With no one to turn to, Emily begs her mother, Linda (Hawn), to take the trip with her. After relentless badgering at the hands of her enthusiastic (and desperate) daughter, the unadventurous divorcee agrees to accompany Emily on the exotic excursion. Upon arrival, this mother and daughter bond famously, but it isn’t long before a sightseeing trip with a mysterious, handsome man (Tom Bateman) Emily meets in the hotel bar turns deadly. Eventually, Emily and Linda find themselves kidnapped in a foreign land and held for ransom. And this is just the beginning of their nutty adventure.
“Snatched” is a light, breezy, and undeniably raunchy high-concept comedy, and for the majority of its running time, its pretty loosey-goosey in terms of structure. In fact, it’s so loose that one might question whether or not there was actually a shooting script. One might also get the sense while watching “Snatched” that perhaps Schumer, Hawn, Levine, and crew chose to set the movie in Ecuador so that they might make a vacation out of the shoot.
Having said that, the uneven but sporadically amusing “Snatched” certainly offers up a handful of laugh-out-loud moments. Some of them, like a gag involving a breast slip, are of the crude variety while others, including a howler of a tapeworm gag, are more slapstick in nature. And at the center of it all are an energetic (and fittingly goofy) Schumer and a delightful Hawn — who it should be noted has been gone from the big screen for far too long.
One of the reasons “Snatched” is more tolerable and appealing than it might have been otherwise is a game-supporting cast. This film features Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack as an odd but helpful couple Emily and Linda meet by poolside, a perfectly douchey Park as Emily’s asshole boyfriend, an amusing Bashir Salahuddin as a state department official who offers very little helpful advice to a kidnapped mother and daughter, and a zany, over-the-top Ike Barinholtz as a slacker mama’s boy looking to get his mom and sister out of a jam. It’s Christopher Meloni, though, who steals the show in an all-too-brief turn as a rugged adventurer who assists Emily and Linda in a daring escape. Meloni has shown his comical chops before (see his hilarious work in “Wet Hot American Summer”), and in “Snatched,” he brings just the right balance of charisma, vulnerability, and hilarity.
At its heart, “Snatched” is obviously meant to be a mother/daughter story, and while the Emily/Linda relationship is always at the forefront of the raunchy proceedings, both “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “The Fate of the Furious” managed to have more fun with themes of family, action, and danger. Still, Hawn and Schumer do have genuine chemistry, the locations are gorgeous, and — again — a game-supporting cast and a handful of very funny moments make the R-rated romp that is “Snatched” marginally entertaining. Just be warned: If mom isn’t a fan of the “F” word, you might be wise to stay home on Mother’s Day and make her a nice steak dinner instead.