PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s one of those Hollywood “together again for the first time” pairings and it’s uneven but undeniably entertaining. Snatched brings together Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, playing daughter and mother.
Which renders this zany caper flick, released in time for Mother’s Day, not a rom-com but a Mom-com.
Schumer is coming off 2015’s Trainwreck, which she wrote and starred in in 2015 and which was anything but.
Hawn, an Oscar winner as Best Supporting Actress for 1964’s Cactus Flower as well as a nominee as Best Actress for 1981’s Private Benjamin, is back on-screen for the first time since 2002, when she co-starred in The Banger Sisters.
Schumer plays Emily Middleton, whose boyfriend (Randall Park) breaks up with her right before they are about to leave on an exotic, “unrefundable” vacation.
So Emily persuades her unadventurous divorced mother, Linda, to take his place and accompany her on the trip to Ecuador.
But Linda is reluctant, feeling that she should stay home and attend to her agoraphobic son, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) but when mother and daughter are kidnapped, a not-uncommon occurrence in the vicinity, and once they’re enmeshed – not at all convincingly — in the criminal underworld, they realize that they must work their way through the jungle to escape.
Easier said than done.
Snatched offers more credulity-challenging perilous situations than the film needs, but, admittedly, some of them do help deliver hearty slapstick laughs.
A snicker or two are also contributed by the supporting players, especially Barinholtz, Christopher Meloni, Wanda Sykes, and a mute Joan Cusack.
Director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies, The Night Before), working from a silly-squared script by Katie Dippold — who wrote The Heat and the recent remake, Ghostbusters – certainly targets the funny bone through most of the running time, with an array of R-rated jokes and broad bits, but tugs at the heartstrings as well, especially late in the game.
Whether executive producer Schumer, whose fingerprints are all over the script, should have rethought the extensive action angle – that is, deciding whether the movie really needs it – will be a lingering question, perhaps even something of an audience divider.
Regardless, Snatched is neither Trainwreck nor a trainwreck; rather, it’s somewhere in between, unimpressive but acceptable.
Schumer, however, remains a strong, consistent screen presence – sometimes too strong and too consistent – and the underemployed Hawn remains magical, her sharp comic timing making it seem as if she had never been away.
So we’ll kidnap 2-1/2 stars out of 4. The sporadically amusing and occasionally hilarious action comedy, Snatched, may have been problematically hatched, but Schumer and Hawn are appealingly matched.