I went in expecting the Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn adventure caper “Snatched” to be as awful as its previews suggest. Luckily looks can be deceiving because it makes for a pretty funny (and also pretty good) night out at the movies. If your mama’s cool as heck, this would be a great one to catch with her on Mother’s Day.
After getting dumped by her boyfriend, lazy woman-child Emily (Schumer) convinces her cautious, cat-loving mom Linda (Hawn) to join her on a whirlwind trip to Costa Rica. Emily is duped by a handsome stranger at the hotel bar (Tom Bateman) one evening, and the two women are kidnapped and held for ransom somewhere in the remote jungles of South America. Along the way, the gals get into all sorts of strange predicaments, all while attempting to escape.
Schumer is definitely an acquired taste and there are going to be plenty of haters coming out of the woodwork simply because she’s attached to the project. Love her or hate her, she has a keen sense of comic timing and is the perfect young comedian to pair with workhorse Hawn (really now, who doesn’t love Goldie)? Their mother / daughter relationship feels sincere and authentic, and they both play it up both physically and verbally for laughs. There are a few painful, lazy, tasteless, and crude jokes about vaginas and whale semen, but when screenwriter Katie Dippold (“Ghostbusters,” “The Heat”) actually works for the laughs, she more than earns them.
It feels as if the film is divided into two parts, with the first being a straight comedy with a believable kidnapping story and the second half going all out and plunging into truly goofball territory. Lots of things just don’t make any sense, and the story jumps all over the place. I could’ve done without the ridiculous giant tapeworm scene (a slapstick joke gone horribly awry) and some of the more ludicrous secondary plots like brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) sparring with a federal agent and leading an unlikely rescue mission deep into the rainforests of Colombia.
But for every miss there are twice as many hits, including the bizarrely humorous subplot of talkative gym lover Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and her mute ex-special forces “lady friend” Barb (Joan Cusack) and a downright hilarious supporting turn from Christopher Meloni as an American adventurer who takes the women under his wing.
This review comes with a very important warning label: while I found this movie to be filled with giggles and ridiculously amusing, I do realize that my sense of humor is all over the place and can be viewed as being atypical and best and on the polar opposite end of the mainstream comedy spectrum at worst. Your mileage may vary in terms of laughs, but I found the humor to be spot on (for the most part).