film reel image

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Snatched 2017 * * 1/2 Stars

SnatchedDirector: Jonathan Levine
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz

2017's Snatched is my latest review. It has Goldie Hawn doing decent work with her first film in 15 years. It also has Amy Schumer channeling well, Amy Schumer. This movie feels like Romancing the Stone minus a feasible account, a wooing subplot, and an ounce of integrity. Within its 97-minute running time, Snatched still provided me with a few guffaws along the way.

The story goes like this: Emily Middleton (Schumer) loses her job at a clothing store and then gets dumped by her rocker boyfriend. She was going to vacation in Ecuador with him but winds up taking her mother instead (Linda Middleton played by Hawn). Chaos ensues when mom and daughter touchdown in South America only to be kidnapped by some bad dudes and then held for ransom.

Image result for snatched movie scenesWith a tighter screenplay and less improvisation, Snatched might have worked entirely. What's mostly on screen however, is an uneven mixture of savagery and humor. You could almost call this flick a black comedy if it weren't so dumbed-down. Hawn and Schumer are in so much peril, you don't know whether you should laugh at them, laugh with them, or heinously fear for their lives. And as I mentioned earlier, Snatched doesn't have much of a plot either. You can't really figure out why Emily and Linda are being abducted, you don't know much about their captors, and you don't really know what said captors do within their criminal operation.

Basically, Snatched is hit-or-miss. It either has nastily violent moments that feel out of place or stupid funny moments you surrender to. Oddly, the supporting players participating in the stupid fun are the parts that made me chuckle the most. Ike Barinholtz playing Schumer's character's brother, is a hoot. Ike is like the ultimate portrait of a cinematic goofball. In truth, he has a comedic style all his own. Then, there's the cameo at the beginning of Snatched involving Emily's boyfriend (played by up-and-comer Randall Park). It's the funniest bit in this thing and one of the best breakup scenes ever. Finally, there's Joan Cusack portraying without any lines, a tumbling vacationer who helps Schumer and Hawn's troupers escape the kidnappers. She's hilarious as someone specializing in black ops and I'm pretty sure she had her own stunt double on set. Natch.

Image result for snatched movie scenesAll in all, the segments with Barinholtz, Park, and Cusack are sadly scattered. They don't cause you to dislike Goldie and Amy. They just make you salivate for something better. As for Jonathan Levine's footloose direction in Snatched, well it's better than the lumpy script presented. Bottom line: You'll laugh a few times but in hindsight, Snatched is a little too "detached". Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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