On the eve of a holiday to Ecuador, Emily (Amy Schumer) is dumped by her boyfriend and can't find anyone to go on the trip with her. Desperate, she asks her mother (Goldie Hawn) to come with her - despite the fact that she's overly cautious and not at all like her daughter. However, they're soon kidnapped by a local criminal and things go steadily from bad to worse...
Amy Schumer is arguably one of the most divisive figures in comedy. Some find her acerbic, in-your-face style of comedy to be off-putting whilst others believe it's refreshing and honest, particularly coming from a female comedian. It's therefore sad that some will miss out on what's essentially a throwback-style action comedy in the vein of Foul Play and Bird On A Wire purely because Amy Schumer's attached to it.
The premise of the film is pretty much standard and as you'd expect - Goldie Hawn's an uptight divorced mother, Amy Schumer's the impulsive and irresponsible daughter. The two go on holiday, they start to rub off each other the wrong way and then eventually, it all goes sideways when they're kidnapped. Where the film finds its humour is both in the interplay between Hawn and Schumer, and how the two try to escape their plight in incredibly violent and slapstick ways. There's plenty of it to go around and Schumer skilfully pulls back on her inclination to go straight for shock value. That said, there's one scene with a CGI ringworm that's easily the weakest joke in the entire film.
Hawn has lost none of her charm and she's every bit as funny, charming and effervescent as you remember. That easy charisma helps to pull the film through some of the flatter parts, but also works well against Schumer's abrasiveness. The supporting cast, sadly, really are playing second fiddle to Hawn and Schumer. Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes turn up as a lesbian couple, with Cusack playing a mute ex-soldier. Both of them, particularly Cusack, are criminally underused and merely serve to push the story along rather than find the comedy. Ike Barinholtz, meanwhile, turns up as the agoraphobic manchild son of Hawn's character, who gets into a recurring phone war with the hilariously deadpan Bashir Salamuddin, who plays a State Department bureacrat trying to help with the kidnapping.
For the most part, director Jonathan Levine moves the film at a fast pace and the film has a snappy runtime of 90 minutes. There really is a lot of commonality with Hawn's action-comedy work, and you can tell that she's still more than up for it. The fact remains, however, is that the screenplay isn't nearly as smart as it could be and while there's a lot to like about this film, there's definitely parts of Snatched that just don't work. Cusack and Sykes, for example, were only given one scene to work with and it's by far one of the funniest jokes in the film. Meanwhile, Schumer can only make the same joke so many times - she's a spoiled millennial who keeps taking selfies, essentially - before it becomes dull and flat.
Still, Snatched works as a diverting enough comedy and will hopefully convince Goldie Hawn to return to our screens for a better outing.