Mediocre ‘Snatched’ is a Messy Miss for Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn

Thinking of taking a loved one to Snatched for Mother’s Day? Hope Mom enjoys public vaginal swabbing, oddly wanton death, endless semen jokes, the occasional fart noise and the grossest tapeworm gag put to film. The laughs are unfortunately fitful and there’s more gagging than guffawing when Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn team up as a mother and daughter kidnapped in South America and navigating high jinks along the Amazon in the mediocre comedy (*½ out of four; rated R; in theaters nationwide Friday).

Though Snatched boasts a deep bench of supporting actors, the leads are the weakest links. For what seems like the umpteenth time, Schumer plays a crass woman whose life is weighed down by drinks and bad decisions, while Hawn, a screwball legend in her own right, seems to exist only to be Schumer’s straight woman. You hope for a meeting of the talented minds of Trainwreck and Private Benjamin, and just get a train wreck.

Emily selfishly drags her down to South America for sun, fun and selfies, though Linda simply wants to finish her book rather than party hearty. Emily meets hunky James (Tom Bateman) at the bar, who takes the girls out of the hotel for an excursion that gets them kidnapped by a Colombian crime lord (Oscar Jaenada) to score some easy ransom money. They escape and run into all sorts of crazy obstacles on their path to the U.S. embassy in Bogota, from accidentally murdering henchmen to having an emotional throwdown in the middle of a jungle.

Director Jonathan Levine (50/50) paces the action well in its mercifully tight 97-minute runtime, and the screenplay by Katie Dippold (The Heat) is filled with some great weirdos who get involved in the episodic escapades.

Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes are a hoot as a pair of travelers with special-ops skills, and Christopher Meloni is hilarious as a clueless American tour guide seeking adventure — honestly, his tale would have made a better movie than this one. The funniest moments in Snatched come from the constant verbal sparring between Emily’s nerdy brother (Ike Barinholtz) and the State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin) exasperated by the international shenanigans. (We feel you, man.)

Hawn deserves better and, really, so does Mom.

Brian Truitt , USA TODAY

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