Out Now On-Demand
This is the closest they've been in years.
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn (returning to the screen after a 15-year hiatus) are a daughter and mother who find themselves enmeshed in a criminal underworld in Ecuador. From the director of The Night Before, and writer Katie Dippold (The Heat, Parks & Recreation).
After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Schumer) persuades her ultra-cautious mother (Hawn) to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, they realise that working through their differences as mother and daughter is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they have fallen into.
Rating: R13 Violence, offensive language & sexual references
This light mother/daughter action comedy, arriving just in time to miss Mother's Day, is rendered palatable by the charm of its two leads, but fails to justify itself as anything beyond a generic platform for their talents.
Amy Schumer is in full command of her comedic voice, and she makes the most out of a flimsy plot that bends over backwards to contrive a kidnapping scenario which sees her and Goldie Hawn chased though Ecuador by ruthless killers.
Hawn, who hasn't starred in a film since 2002's The Banger Sisters, is effortless in her low-key timing, and she brings something special to every line reading. She has appreciable chemistry with Schumer, and there is value in seeing them together on screen. But again, the whole affair is just so forgettable.
There's underexploited talent in the supporting cast, including Ike Barinholtz (Sisters) as Schumer's agoraphobic brother, and Christopher Meloni as a would-be man's man the ladies encounter in the jungle.
Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack are similarly underutilised as fellow vacationers that try to help, and you could even argue that Cusack's mute role here functions as a spiritual follow-up to her breakthrough performance as “Geek Girl #1” in John Hughes' Sixteen Candles (1984).
Snatched appears to be aiming for something resembling a familial take on 1984's Romancing The Stone, but at it's best is more reminiscent of forgotten '80s comedies like Club Paradise (1986) or Hot Pursuit (1987). Not terrible, but far from great.
Time Out (London)
New York Times
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)
A mother-daughter road trip film that is a waste of comedic talent
Strong but fractious, the mother-daughter bond is a soft target for sit-coms. Fill it with two female legends of comedy, set them on a road-trip movie through exotic locations, add a kidnapping, some bawdy gags and sketches, and hey presto: a box-office success. Even a solid recipe like this can sometimes fail and it certainly has in Snatched (2017). Where were those missing ingredients, like a plausible script and a coherent storyline?
When her boyfriend dumps Emily (Amy Schumer) she asks her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) to take his place on a pre-paid dream-of-a-lifetime holiday. The act of asking is a classic but lame skit of desperate lies with the flighty Emily not wanting to go alone and the over-controlling Linda dying to be asked. On their first night in Hawaii, Emily is picked up by a handsome Aussie and soon both are taken on a friendly local tour into the island’s primitive interior and straight into a kidnap plot. From here on, it’s a repetitive cycle of escape, fleeing, cornered, escape and so on, interrupted only by the kind of body-part one-liners that live stand-up comics can get away with but that never work in a feature movie. Along the way, the girls cause havoc and a few triumphant girl-power casualties. A ransom demand ends up with Linda’s moronic but devoted son who tricks the US diplomatic corps into launching a recovery operation. It sounds like a plot, but its only noise.
How could this film be saved? Maybe with less reliance on femo-slapstick lines like “oops, one of my boobs fell out” or characters that an audience might care about or a less repetitive and less predictable storyline. As for that weirdly unpleasant tapeworm skit: it set the bar below the floor. This film is truly a waste of comedic talent.