Director: Jonathan Levine
Screenwriter: Katie Dippold
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinhaltz
Runtime: 90 mins
Genre: Action, Comedy
Review by Dave Griffiths
It has been a while since we have had a genuine laugh-out-loud comedy at the cinemas. There have been a few films that have tried, but most have failed miserably. Now current comedy ‘it’ woman Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) teams up with comedy legend Goldie Hawn (The First Wives Club, Private Benjamin), who is returning to the screen for the first time in fifteen years, in the new action comedy Snatched.
Directed by Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodes, 50/50) Snatched sees Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) at a loss at what to do with her life. She has just lost her job and her boyfriend, Michael (Randall Park – The Interview, Trainwreck), has just broken up with her to pursue his band. Not knowing what else to do with her non-refundable tickets to Ecuador Emily turns to her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn), who hasn’t had an ounce of fun since her divorce years earlier.
One in Ecuador Emily disobeys all of her mother’s warnings and finds herself drawn to James (Tom Bateman – Creditors, Da Vinci’s Demons) and a resulting day-trip ends up with the two women being kidnapped and held for ransom. While the two women decide to accidentally ‘fight-back’ back at him Emily’s agoraphobic brother, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz – Suicide Squad, The Mindy Project) is left trying to fight the State Department for their help.
With Snatched the film does go some of the way to fix the quota of bad comedies this year. While screenwriter Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) lays a basis for a story that fits with comedy, you feel some of the scenes that have been improvised by Schumer herself are the ones that get the greatest laughs. The bathroom scene with Emily caught in a compromising position is one that particularly works well and has Schumer’s hands all over it.
Strangely enough though the film does have one weak comedic moment. While for the most part the nature of the film’s comedy does not cause its audience to stretch their imagination much there is one scene that involves a tape-worm that goes right over the top and seems out of place with the rest of the film’s natural comedy. That is just one scene though, and for the rest of the film the screenplay calls for its leads to mix a fair amount of situational and slapstick comedy with some very well-delivered one-liners.
You can see why Goldie Hawn put her hand up for this role despite such a long disappearance from our screens. Hawn laps up the comedy of the role and is well suited to play Schumer’s mother. The pair has great comedy timing between them and seem to bounce off each other in a way that few comedy pairings do these days. The third part of that wheel though is Ike Barinholtz who early on alongside Schumer matches her joke for joke. He certainly fairs a lot better off than poor Wanda Sykes (Evan Almighty, Rio) and Joan Cusack (Working Girl, Toy Story 3) whose characters seem to get forgotten about for huge chunks of the film… a shame because they are so interesting that they almost seem to warrant their own spin-off movie.
If nothing else Snatched shows that the world that the brilliance of Trainwreck was not a one-off. Schumer again shines here with an ability to not only have her audience laugh-out-loud but also snort as a few members of the press screening I was in did. While Schumer’s style of humour may not be everybody’s cup-of-tea for those that love her, this is a film that they will fall in love with very quickly. Snatched is the perfect girls’ night out film.