In the opening few minutes of Snatched, we see inside a photo album with various shots of an unforgettable face. It’s a younger Goldie Hawn, and all the snapshots bring a warm reminder of just how long she’s been an effortlessly likable piece of pop culture. Making her a big part of Amy Schumer’s follow-up to the hilarious Trainwreck seems like a fine idea.
Check that, it is a fine idea, and a missed opportunity.
The photos remind Emily (Schumer) how fun and adventurous her mom Linda (Hawn) used to be, so she coaxes Mom into joining her on a trip to Ecuador, where they’ll “put the fun in non-refundable!”
They’re promptly kidnapped, manage to escape, and director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies) fills the rest of the film with Goldie and Amy running from the bad guys and doing what they can with contrivance, obvious gags and a lackluster screenplay that Schumer unfortunately did not write. The Trainwreck script, plus her TV work, have shown Schumer can bring both laughs and smarts, and Snatched could use more of both.
Instead, the script from Katie Dippold (The Heat, last year’s Ghostbusters – both underrated) finds more solid footing with supporting characters, such as Ike Barinholtz as Emily’s brother, Wanda Sykes as a nosy fellow traveler, and Christopher Meloni as a wannabe hero.
These two leads deserve better than a by-the-numbers romp with only scattershot giggles. Where’s that confident, “take some chances” attitude that Emily wants Linda to re-discover?