Snatched - This Alleged Comedy Movie So Doesn't Rock
Dir: Jonathan Levine
Starring Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Tom Bateman, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz
On paper, Schumer and Hawn as daughter and mother respectively seem like comedy gold. On screen, in generally reliable Levine’s mess of a movie, they are anything but.
Schumer struggles for a few good moments in the set up (emphasis on struggle) as her standard-issue brash type loses her job and boyfriend both, and then takes her mother on holiday to Ecuador (the boyfriend was booked but has had a better offer and the ticket’s non refundable.) Here, Amy meets handsome Tom Bateman, the too good to be true Brit adventurer who turns out to be too good to be true and suddenly mom and daughter are kidnapped, escape, accidentally kill people and – well, by this point (and this is early on) nobody really cares.
Working from a script from The Heat/Ghostbusters’ Katie Dippold that feels like it never got beyond a first draft, Snatched goes from weak comedy to jungle adventure with no humour whatsoever – and bugger all to take its place. Unless of course you allow for the inevitable unburdening of family history, the reconciliation between mother and child, and just general tearful all-round sentimental bonding that feels endless – and yes, “endless” in a movie that barely scrapes the 90 minute mark.
Subplots, or more accurately, protracted gags involving Schumer’s agoraphobic brother (a dreadful Barinholtz) and his persistent pestering of a government agent fall flat every time we go back to them. And when we go back to the ladies, well, we just wish it was all over and done with. (Plus it has Wanda Sykes in it - never a good sign!)
There’s no doubt that Schumer and Hawn generally know what they’re doing. What they’re doing here though is anyone’s guess.
Very possibly the least funny “alleged” comedy of the year to date. Not even when it’s on free TV, mate.
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