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Snatched - Review

Snatched

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

A STRONG dynamic between Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer cannot compensate for a lacklustre script and some bad taste comedy in Jonathan Levin’s disappointing Snatched.

The comedy duo play a mother and daughter who team up for a last minute holiday to Ecuador, only to find themselves kidnapped and held for ransom. They do escape but spend the rest of the movie attempting to outwit their pursuers.

Taken at face value, Snatched was probably envisaged as a kind of Romancing The Stone style caper for the Taken generation that combines edgy action-comedy with some touching mother-daughter moments.

But Katie Dippold’s script, which was re-worked by Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele, eschews a lot of the physical comedy for the more crude and lands itself in awkward territory for long periods.

Schumer may have proved herself a dab hand at sexual comedy on the stand-up circuit and with her last movie, Trainwreck, but with Snatched jokes at the expense of rape and sex trafficking feel wholly mis-judged and kind of desperate. If they are designed to be empowering, they actually set the feminist movement back.

It’s also terrain that the film doesn’t really need to explore given that Schumer still proves herself to be an astute observer of ridiculous sexual politics when exploring the relationships between men and women. A couple of the early, establishing jokes can be laugh out loud funny, even if the best ones are given away in the trailer.

Once the women find themselves kidnapped and then on the run, however, the script becomes a lot more patchy, with the strong character building hinted at early on discarded in favour of crazy, often nonsensical scenarios that feel thrown together.

Hence, the good character stuff between Schumer and Hawn (making her first big screen return in 15 years) is sacrificed, as is promising support by Christopher Meloni (impressing as an egotistical Indiana Jones wannabe adventurer) and Joan Cusack (as a mute ex special ops solider).

Director Jonathan Levine – who has delivered career highs such as The Wackness and 50/50 – is more content to throw one set piece after another at the screen in the hope that some will deliver more laughs.

But even the majority of these lack much ingenuity or giggle value, while repeating some of the bad taste, socially insensitive material from early on. Even a supposedly showpiece gag involving a tape-worm falls flat.

In the final analysis, it’s the film’s rich potential that ultimately feels snatched away from viewers.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 91mins
UK Release Date: May 19, 2017

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