Movie review: ‘Snatched’

Goldie Hawn’s big return in Amy Schumer comedy disappoints

Goldie Hawn, in her first screen role in 15 years, finds herself starring alongside Amy Schumer, as they become kidnap victims on a mother/daughter vacation to South America, in “Snatched.”

“Snatched” is a horror premise made with laughs, like “Hostel” or “Tourista,” only built behind the performances of a mildly racist and overprotective mom, and a misguided, aimless daughter.

It’s Amy Schumer’s typical shtick, which often hilariously begs the audience to criticize her feminity, played safely to a fault.

So much of “Snatched” feels incredibly routine and straightfoward until it finds its stride with several big laughs in the final act.

And it feels like the first misfire from director Jonathan Levine, who previously found success the hilarious Christmas comedy, “The Night Before,” and the incredibly sad cancer comedy, “50/50.”

And unfortunately for us, “Snatched” feels more like a work-for-hire gig for Levine, rather than one that effectively showcases his unique perspective.

Schumer once again embraces her persona as Emily Middleton, where she derives much of the films humor as a vapid white girl. Early on, after booking a nonrefundable trip to South America with her boyfriend, Michael, in a pretty funny cameo from Randall Park, who breaks up with her for her aimless, lazy lifestyle. Left with a trip to Ecuador and no friends to go with, Emily resorts to convincing the only person she has left — her mom.

Emily’s Mom, Linda, played by Goldie Hawn, is your typical mom. She badgers her daughter with phone calls, Facebook messages and voicemails, all to be ignored.

Much of the earliest communication between the two characters consists of chat bubbles and eye rolls. She does, however, have some company. Her son Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz, who provides the most quality laughs), is agoraphobic and still requires his mother’s care on a daily basis.

It’s not until Emily discovers that her mother also was, in fact, once a young white girl, that she decides to invite her. Linda’s mundane lifestyle prevents her accepting it at first, but it doesn’t take too much convincing.

By the time we’re finally in Ecuadaor, the two differ on what their ideas of a perfect vacation are.

Linda’s are sunscreen and books; Emily’s are wine in the morning and liquor at night. Emily, pretty early on, then finds herself part of scheme that traffics young lady’s and then all sorts hijinks ensue.

“Snatched” approaches its narrative like most movies do, whether intentionally or not, where in Ecuador, the resorts are nice, and everything outside of the those vacation hotspots are the deadliest places on earth.

And according to “Snatched,” for the most part, if a brown person isn’t serving you margaritas, they’re stealing your stuff, kidnapping you or even killing you. It plays into those stereotypes and usually not even for laughs.

Highlights include the platonic relationship between Wanda Sykes as a overly cautious tourist and her ex-secret agent best friend Barb, played by Joan Cusack; and Jeffrey’s ongoing attempt to make the State Department rescue his family.

Other than that, “Snatched” sets its aims on the mother, daughter relationship which you’ve experienced so many times in movies and television that you could probably recite verbatim. Once “Snatched” finds its stride and turns into something with a little more style, it starts to gel.

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