10 August 2017 | LloydBayer
As an action-comedy, Snatch boasts of a new heroine with standard heroics but substandard laughs.
Melissa McCarthy appears to be replaced by a younger and gutsier model. Meet Amy Schumer – former Comedy Central stand-up artist in her second film since her debut in Trainwreck. By both writing and starring in that film, Schumer proved that there are still unexplored avenues in Rom-Coms that aim to make the audience laugh. Snatched follows suit as a buddy comedy by mixing up action (sometimes violent) with laugh-out-loud gags where Schumer is allowed free reign. It works, but only in the first half where most of the jokes are frontloaded.
Schumer plays Emily, a self-centered individual suffering from blaring personal insecurities. But she is also optimistic, fun loving and adventurous. When she gets fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend on the same day, Emily phones-in her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) as a companion on a trip to Ecuador. In between mother- daughter bickering, Emily has a blast which ends up in disaster when both of them are 'taken' by South American baddies. And there's no Liam Neeson to save them. What follows is an eccentric escape plan that leads to some very high brow shenanigans.
Last seen in The Banger Sisters 15 years ago, one of the most bizarre things about this film is veteran actress Goldie Hawn being called out of retirement. Trying to make any sort of connection with Hawn's previous characters leads to a dead end, which is why her role here is not only absurd, but also miscast. But before you start to think that something is missing, The Heat and Ghostbusters (both staring Melissa McCarthy) screenwriter Katie Dippold tries to have us believe that the bond between a mother and daughter will overcome any and all perils. It's a nice touch but who are we kidding? By the time we get a feel of what's going on, the fun ends as soon as it starts. On the other hand, Schumer is fun to watch but there's also the feeling that her characters (both of them so far) are mirror images of the roles Will Ferrell played years ago. Also a stand-up comedian, Ferrell got away with playing likable but unpleasant characters till all his characters were losers by default. While it may be too early to say if Schumer needs to look at her roles with prudence, the general feeling is assuring given her flawless comic timing.
On the plus side, laughs come from unexpected places thanks to guest roles from Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack, a pair of weirdos who drop in out of nowhere and in the middle of nowhere. There is also a stupidly funny subplot involving Emily's super-nerd brother Jeffrey and a State Department official at loggerheads with each other. These tidbits keep the film from being a total disaster and in the end, If Snatched is about celebrating adventure and the open road, it gets there, albeit without a blazing trail.