As one of the first films sold as a summer comedy to hit our screens this year that features a cast of both old and new top comedy talent, Snatched arrives as a bit of a disappointment.
The film is lead by Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer’s mother-daughter duo as they go on a trip together to South America. Not long after arriving, Schumer’s Emily meets an Englishmen whom she naively trusts as she volunteers her mother to join them on a day trip out which ends with them being kidnapped. The film then tries to transition into more of an action-comedy.
With the two stars in the lead roles and writer Katie Dippold and director Jonathan Levine (of Parks and Rec and 50/50 respectively) behind the camera, the film seemingly has the caliber of talent to be poised to be a smash hit. Unfortunately, it largely falls flat. Many of the jokes don’t land despite the actors’ hardest efforts, and the film is largely inconsistent as a whole. It isn’t the film that you’d want to remark the return of an iconic Hollywood star.
There are jokes that are a complete misfire and some that could have elicited a laugh had some poor editing, sometimes the actor and some curious directing choices not messed up the comic timing. There are some genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud moments, but more jokes fall flat than even make a wobbly landing. There are some nice feminist jokes, a nice little nod to the still apparently shocking (to some) notion that a film can be lead by female protagonists.
The film isn’t really structurally sound either. The exposition is all delivered in a straight out monologue that tries to then turn itself into a joke, but doesn’t entirely land. Similarly, although character arcs are usually bare and obvious in comedies, this film delivers its arcs by having the characters monologue what they have supposedly learned from the film which feels a little contrived, but is a flaw we see in a lot of comedies (only those that are self-aware enough to ramp up the cliché really succeed with them).
The film also tries to do and be too much. There is commentary on the generation gaps, the stereotype of millennials, as well as taking the mick out of the potential ignorance of Westerners abroad. There are also too many little subplots or characters that are introduced but then not followed through or build up coherently or substantially which contributes towards the bare feeling of the film.
The overall film is a disappointment considering how much better it could have been with the talent it had attracted, but there are enough laughs scattered through that combined with the charisma of the two stars make it entertaining enough to make it through, but it is a shame; it could have been so much better.