I’ll start this review off by saying that I’m a fan of Amy Schumer and love her comedy. I thought Trainwreck was a one-watch film with faint glimpses of classic Schumer but nothing to write home about. On paper, Snatched should have been a slam-dunk but I don’t think Schumer or her legendary co-star Goldie Hawn are utilised well enough in Katie Dippold’s tired and painfully thin comedy.
There are gags that land, for sure, but there’s no real genius at work in Snatched and given the sum of its parts, that’s a terrible mistake to make. Classic comedies that have lasting appeal tend to achieve cult status due to layered laughs that transcend time. Snatched seems happy to rest on its laurels thinking that the casting of Hawn and Schumer has done all of the heavy lifting for them already. They are wrong.
The plot involves the directionless and self-obsessed Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) who has recently been dumped by her boyfriend. Having already booked a non-refundable exotic holiday, she quickly realises that all of her friends are busy and reluctantly takes her mum Linda along (Goldie Hawn). Linda has lost her lust for life, so Emily thinks that this trip will do her the world of good. Sadly, they both get more than they bargained for when they get kidnapped and held for ransom.
The concept is simple and could have been very effective but there’s no real direction here, just a handful of funny half-ideas. Schumer is always entertaining and makes the most of it. Like I said, there are gags that land, and that’s usually down to Schumer’s charm. Goldie Hawn is effortlessly better than the material she’s given and it’s a testament to her that she makes the best of it, especially given these restraints.
I’m not a fan of Katie Dippold’s writing, only because there is so much potential in her projects but it never delivers on its promise. She co-wrote the Ghostbusters reboot and The Heat for two glowing examples of ideas that could have spun gold in the right hands. Her attempts to force Schumer’s character into some sort of ‘redemption’ by showing how she cares for the locals of a village, is the unintentionally funniest part of the movie (only because we are meant to believe that Emily pouring water into a well somehow means she’s now selfless). She doesn’t even carry the water to the well; she still lets the locals do that.
Snatched is a massive disappointment given its potential and only raises a few cheap laughs along the way. But there’s real chemistry here that’s left untapped. If the best thing to come out of this whole project is Goldie Hawn making more movies then I’m down with that. Snatched joins the ever growing list of comedies with great potential that falls painfully short of their goals, and is sadly an instantly forgettable fable that should have tried harder.
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Tom Bateman, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack Director: Jonathan Levine Writer: Katie Dippold Released By: 20th Century Fox Certificate: 15 Duration: 90 mins Release Date: 11th September 2017