I’m not very familiar with Amy Schumer’s work beyond Trainwreck (which was decent), but I like a good Goldie Hawn comedy. Nevertheless, I went into Snatched with pretty low expectations, and that seems to have been the right choice.
Schumer plays Emily, a selfish and irresponsible woman-child who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. She had already bought nonrefundable tickets for two to Ecuador, and now she can’t find anyone else to go with her. Not even her mom, Linda (Hawn) wants to go, but she finally relents, leaving her other nerdy, annoying, still-living-at-home, never-leaves-the-house mess of a son (Ike Barinholtz in a particularly unpleasant role) to fend for himself.
Linda is in constant fear of being raped, kidnapped, murdered, or worse. She just wants to stay at the hotel and read all day, but Emily drags her away for a day trip with a guy she just met. And of course they get kidnapped. But this isn’t at all a surprise because the movie has a prologue that tells you what’s going to happen.
The film’s lack of trust in the audience’s ability to comprehend what’s going on, and its inclusion of the Barinholtz role, are far from its only problems. It’s full of completely unnecessary elements that turn what could have been an adequate comedy into the disappointment that it is. We also have the gung-ho duo of Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack, the latter of whom is mute and therefore spends all her time making stupid faces. There’s an awful tangent involving a tapeworm that has no relationship to anything else in the movie and could be completely excised for a marked improvement. And there are several other throwaway bits that you have to assume are just included in a desperate attempt to have enough material for a feature-length movie. As such, it feels much longer than the 90 minutes that it actually is.
I will say that the movie is not completely devoid of entertainment value. It does have a couple of funny moments, which is better than I can say for most recent comedies. Of course, they are all in the first act, and they’re probably spoiled by the trailer (which I haven’t seen), and the rest of the film is full of predictable mediocrity.
The screening I attended (and presumably all theatrical showings of the movie) was preceded by a short clip in which Schumer and Hawn thank the audience for seeing it in a theater, and even though they didn’t come out and say “thank you for not pirating”, it nonetheless screams of desperation and preaching to the choir. It’s also utterly ridiculous in retrospect because the movie doesn’t do much to reward us. If you think you might want to watch the movie, then at least wait until it’s available on some streaming platform so that you’re only risking a couple of dollars.