KEY CAST MEMBERS: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Tom Bateman, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Christopher Meloni, Bashir Salahuddin, Arturo Castro and Óscar Jaenada
WRITER(S): Kate Dippold
DIRECTOR(S): Jonathan Levine
WEB SITE: http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/snatchedHERE’S THE STORY: Emily Louise Middleton (Amy Schumer) isn’t exactly doing that well. She just lost her low-paying job, her musician boyfriend (Russell Park) broke up with her and now she has no one to go with her on the trip to Ecuador she’s been looking forward to for weeks. But that’s not going to stop her from going – even if that means dragging her overly critical and not crazy about the idea of international travel/divorced mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) with her.
And once she’s there, Emily is having the time of her life mainly due to having met James (Tom Bateman), a charming man with an accent who sweeps her off her feet. So, one might understand why Emily is so looking forward to the day trip Tom has promised to take her and her mother on the next day.
Then there’s a car accident where she awakes to find herself and her mother imprisoned and their kidnapper Morgado (Óscar Jaenada) calling her agoraphobic brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) demanding $100,000 in ransom. What follows is an a lesson in how NOT to see South America … and potentially some much-overdo mother/daughter bonding.
SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? In this era of “mansplaining,” a president whose actions with women make labeling them controversial a gross understatement and the general backlash one of its co-stars has faced in recent months, I feel like I need to say the following before I get into this review:
 I, like Ms. Schumer, perform stand-up comedy;
 I, like many people, enjoyed and even purchased the Blu-Ray of her previous effort, Trainwreck; and
 I’m a man. I say all that to say this: After watching Snatched, the only thing that was snatched from me was my time watching this tragically underwhelming, unfocused flat masquerade of a comedy.
While it’s not essentially fair to compare Snatched to Trainwreck, there is still a fair dosage of apples to apples to examine. Whereas Trainwreck featured no holds barred jokes, a very relatable story that yet found a way to be original and ribald jokes from characters you liked and wanted to root for, Snatched features dumb, hackneyed characters, ridiculous situations that feel beyond forced and some of the most flat, ho-hum punchlines to be found.
I cannot stress enough how (1) disjointed, (2) flat and (3) predictable and unspectacular Snatched is. The film at times feels like it wants to go harder with the jokes, only to pull back and go for jokes that barely jab when they should be haymakers and wants to have heart when it’s barely finding its pulse as a comedy. Throw in some very bland characters (there’s really not much to any of these people) and how choppy the film is (here’s a scene – and here’s a scene – and oh look, here’s another scene that kinda fits but isn’t developed well, either). Whereas Barinholtz and Bashir Salahuddin (who plays the least concerned African-American law enforcement agent seen since Get Out) produce the majority of the films laughs as they bicker back in forth, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack’s characters are straight from a Saturday Night Live sketch that should have never made it to air. Then again, when you have a movie that feels like a bad, extended episode of sitcom – think a family show that shoots “on location” when the family starts to have wacky, dangerous vacation adventures in Hawaii – and that should be expected. Hahn does her best to save the scenes she’s in, but she’s overmatched with a script as thin as herself in her youthful rom-com heyday.
Whereas Schumer’s antics in Trainwreck and her Comedy Central show may be controversial, they were/are actually humorous. In Snatched, they’re just frustrating and annoying at every turn. And if she is unable to find a way to reinvent herself after this, expecting better work form her might become the exception rather the norm.
Unfortunately, Schumer and Hawn should expect to have a lot of unhappy people leaving theater’s this Mother’s Day if they make the unfortunate choice to see Snatched.