Action Comedy

'Snatched' Film Review: Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn wreak mother-daughter havoc in the Amazon

May 10, 2017Ben MK

Ah, the bond between parent and child. Whether it's Albert Brooks' Mother or Lorene Scafaria's The Meddler, it's a relationship that's been explored in the movies time and time again, often with hilarious results. Of course, it all depends on the actors playing the roles; but when you've got Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as your mother-daughter duo, you know you're in for a wild ride.

In Snatched, Schumer plays Emily Middleton, a 30-something-year-old with an affinity for alcohol, a lower back tattoo and a musician boyfriend (Randall Park) who's just broken her heart by dumping her rather unceremoniously, mere days before their non-refundable vacation to Ecuador. To make matters worse, Emily has also managed to have gotten herself booted from her minimum-wage retail job, thanks to her questionable work ethic, and she can't find a single other friend willing to take her ex-boyfriend's place on her trip.

When Emily's mom, Linda (Hawn), gets wind of her daughter's new relationship status, or lack thereof, she can't help but reach out to try and console her (which she does with hilarious awkwardness over Facebook). A safety-conscious divorcée whose current hobbies include looking after her many cats, Linda doesn't initially seem like an ideal travel companion for Emily. But after Emily finds some old photos proving that her mom was once a fun-loving hippie, she decides to give her the benefit of the doubt, if only out of sheer desperation.

And so the stage is set for a getaway to remember, as the pair clash over how best to spend their downtime. Emily would rather lounge by the pool sipping a margarita in the middle of the afternoon, while Linda is more keen on staving off melanoma and catching up with her novellas. Either way, they soon find some common ground, so to speak, when they're both kidnapped by an infamous Colombian criminal (Óscar Jaenada). And with no help for miles, it's up to them to work out their unresolved issues, if they ever hope to make it back home alive.

Directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Katie Dippold, Snatched unfolds much like you would expect, given the talent involved. The humor is juvenile, as evidenced by jokes about feminine hygiene and wardrobe malfunctions; the gags are played for maximum, side-splitting shock value, with the hands-down highlight involving the nervous removal of a tapeworm from Emily's digestive tract; and the supporting cast, which includes Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Meloni, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack, routinely steal their scenes whenever they're on-screen.

Ultimately, though, a movie such as this needs to be grounded in the relationship between its two lead characters. Thankfully, Levine has some experience in this regard, having directed 2011's 50/50, a film that no doubt inspired its fair share of viewers to call their moms after watching it. That's not to say that Snatched approaches anywhere near that level of emotional depth, not by far. Still, Schumer and Hawn have definite chemistry together, and it goes a long way in helping to sell audiences on the ridiculousness of this raucous rumble in the jungle.

Snatched releases May 12th, 2017 from 20th Century Fox. The film has an MPAA rating of R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout. Its runtime is 1 Hr. 31 Mins.

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