After only one successful and very funny feature film, Trainwreck, I’m not sure what Snatched represents for the career of Amy Schumer. Has she already gone down a road of tepid, uninspired middle-of-the-road Sandler-like comedies, or is Snatched to Schumer was The Guilt Trip was to Seth Rogen? A failed opportunity to not only work with a legend but curry favor with larger, more mainstream audiences? Or will Schumer go the Melissa McCarthy route and alternate terrible broad comedies with funnier Paul Feig comedies?
I don’t know, but there’s an awful lot of talent in Snatched for it to go so pear-shaped. Putting Schumer aside, a movie starring Goldie Hawn, written by Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) and directed by Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies) should be much better than this. But Snatched is dirty dishwater, a limp, snoozer comedy that believes a few gross-out gags can salvage a whole lot of mediocrity. I fell asleep halfway through the film and woke up bummed that I’d only missed ten minutes.
Snatched sees aimless and irresponsible Emily Middleton (Schumer) coerce her boring, cat-lady mother, Linda (Hawn), into taking a trip to Ecuador with her after Emily’s boyfriend dumps her because her life is going nowhere. Once in Ecuador, Emily meets and falls for a too-good-to-be-true piece of beefcake (Tom Bateman) that drives Emily and her mom outside the confines of their safe Ecuadorian resort, where they are kidnapped and held for ransom until Emily’s brother and obnoxious momma’s boy (Ike Barinholtz) can come up with $100,000. Through a series of misadventures, and with the help of Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and her retired special ops girlfriend (Joan Cusack, easily the best thing about Snatched), Emily and Linda escape from their kidnappers and end up on the run through the Ecuadorian jungle.
There’s really not a lot to write about here. Schumer farts in bed, she sh*ts herself, she takes a lot of selfies, her boob pops out of her dress, and there’s a sequence where she has a tapeworm pulled out of her throat. Barinholtz, who can be fitfully amusing in the right role, is basically an insufferable Nick Swardson character here. It is good to see Hawn again, in her first feature role in 15 years, but she is given absolutely nothing with which to work, and there is surprisingly little chemistry between Schumer and Hawn.
Look: I had no expectations going into Snatched beyond a vague hope that it could be a passable comedy that would painlessly pass an hour and a half. The movie doesn’t even meet that low bar. It’s like an outline of a movie that Dippold and Levine had hoped Schumer and Hawn could fill in with improvisation, but they never found any inspiration to do so. It’s a boring mess, and beyond a few scenes with Joan Cusack, a completely worthless excursion.