What it's about:
After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of an exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily persuades her ultra-cautious mother, Linda to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda realise that working through their differences as mother and daughter—in an unpredictable, hilarious fashion—is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they’ve fallen into.
What we thought:
At first, you hear that Snatched is written by the same writer that gave us the side-splitting The Heat and was head writer of Parks and Recreation. Then you hear Amy Schumer is involved, and after the fantastic Trainwreck, my heart was optimistic about a good mother-daughter comedy. Then I heard Goldie Hawn was cast to play the mother, and I suddenly had a long pause. Out of all the amazing older, hilarious actresses they could have cast, they went with a semi-okay actress that hasn’t seen the silver screen since 2002. In the end, no amount of hype (was there any?) about a comeback could save the awkwardness between the two actresses, and this coupled with a plot cobbled together by unnecessary deprecation jokes makes for one boring jaunt through the jungle.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Emily (Schumer) convinces her homebody mother (Hawn) to go with her on an exciting holiday to Ecuador. The pair end up getting themselves kidnapped, and try to escape their captors through the jungle.
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly about this movie made it so ungodly mind-numbing. The script was originally written by Katie Dippold, who’s had some hilarious projects under her belt, but it was rewritten by Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele, who also produces Schumer’s show, and perhaps this is where it went all wrong. It could also have been Hawn’s awful performance, who just went through the motions without any actual emotion. It’s like she’s forgotten how to act, and her comedic timing was off the charts. The completely wrong charts. It’s especially disappointing seeing as there are so many other actresses that would have nailed playing the abrasive Schumer’s on-screen mother, but instead the studios thought a comeback story was worth more than actual talent.
Schumer herself was pretty much as she’s always been, though her performance in Trainwreck felt sincerer than this snooze fest. She had her usual crude jokes that normally gave you a sneaky chuckle, but in Snatched it was more like she was ramming the jokes into the audience’s faces. There were some golden characters that helped make it more bearable though, like the tough two ‘friends’ Ruth and Barb (Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack) who help the bumbling idiotic leads out by being badass ex-military backup, and in all honesty Cusack would have been a better fit for Hawn’s character. The other two characters who stole the show were Emily’s agoraphobic brother (Ike Barinholtz) and the exasperated US State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin), who gave the audience a break from the frivolous boredom of the lead characters with their inane but funny banter. Somehow the side characters got all the best jokes, and the leads were left with the duds.
If you feel like a culturally insensitive movie where Americans go and screw with people in other countries through ‘laughable’ death scenes and the weirdest tapeworm CGI you didn’t think you would ever see in a movie, then Snatched is the movie you never thought you wanted. For everyone else with an actual sense of humour, don’t waste your money on something concocted in someone’s basement. And for the love of good cinema, don’t let your mother be duped into thinking this would make for a pleasant mother-daughter outing.