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Amy Schumer’s Snatched disappoints critics: 'Lazy,’ ‘scattershot’

Schumer and Goldie Hawn try but can’t rescue this raunchy kidnapping comedy

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Not only does Snatched mark Amy Schumer’s return to the big screen after the success of 2015’s Trainwreck, but it’s Goldie Hawn’s first film outing since 2002’s The Banger Sisters. On paper, it’s a winning combination: a raunchy mother-daughter comedy starring two of the funniest comedians in the business. But was Snatched worth the wait?

Critics are apparently in agreement that no, it was not. Schumer stars as the immature, messy Emily, who, after a breakup, decides to salvage a nonrefundable trip to Ecuador by going with her uptight mother Linda (Hawn). Most reviews are decrying Jonathan Levine’s comedy as more trainwreck than Trainwreck, and in her C+ review, EW’s Leah Greenblatt describes Snatched as “a profane, wildly scattershot comedy that rides almost entirely on the sheer life force of its two stars.”

Read on for more from Greenblatt and other critics.

Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly)
“Emily’s first-world oblivion and Linda’s bad knees hardly bode well for survival, and the plot pitches and weaves like a drunk lemur. But as Snatched’s blonde-leading-the-blonde farce careens on, it stumbles into moments of deranged inspiration, lifted by loopy cameos (Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, a mute Joan Cusack) and Hawn’s dizzy, undiminished charisma. After nearly 15 years away from the big screen, she’s still pure Goldie.”

Kate Erbland (IndieWire)
“Lauded actress and boundary-busting comedian Goldie Hawn hasn’t appeared in a film in over a decade, let alone starred in one, so her return to the big screen should be considered a very big deal. Too bad that the Oscar-winning actress’ first project in 15 years isn’t just a misfire, but one that commits the unforgivable sin of not allowing Hawn to inhabit her stature as a great comedic performer. Jonathan Levine’s Snatched has bigger problems than just that one, but the decision to cast Hawn as a worrywart mother saddled with a woefully immature daughter (Amy Schumer) on a trip from hell is indicative of many of this limp action-comedy’s biggest sins. And there are so many.”

A.O. Scott (The New York Times)
“Emily drags Linda on a trip to Ecuador that turns calamitous when the two women are kidnapped by a gang of South American baddies. By ‘calamitous’ I mean lazy, sloppy and witless. Snatched is one of those movies that subscribes to a dubious homeopathic theory of cultural insensitivity by which the acknowledgment of offensiveness is supposed to prevent anyone from taking offense. The idea is that if you use variations on the phrase ‘That’s racist!’ as a punch line a few times, nothing else you say or do could possibly be racist. Including, say, populating your movie with dark-skinned thugs with funny accents and killing a few of them for cheap laughs.”

Owen Gleiberman (Variety)
“Even if you do love Amy Schumer, you have to follow her into an aggressively cartoonish mother-daughter vacation-from-hell comedy that never strays far from the fractious, one-note surface.”

Robert Abele (The Wrap)
“The build-up felt formidable: the promise of a zeitgeisty, unapologetically raunchy stand-up comic and a screwball icon taking the female buddy comedy to the ‘enne’-th power. But what we’ve gotten in Snatched is an uninspired, scattershot disaster romp that mostly serves the talents of one half of the marquee pairing, underuses the other half, and struggles to blend R-rated humor, foreign misadventure, and oil-and-water mother-daughter dynamic into a cohesive diversion. There are plenty of worse comedies out there, but Snatched has that vexing air of disappointment to it.”

Jon Frosch (The Hollywood Reporter)
“A fitfully amusing, entirely disposable mother-daughter caper that’s elevated a notch by its gifted central duo and capable direction from Jonathan Levine. Schumer and Hawn know what funny looks and sounds like, and they lend their dialogue and gags — no matter how tepid — enough snap and personality to distract you, at least some of the time, from the utter laziness of the material. To put it bluntly: They’re worth watching even in junk like this.”

Melissa Anderson (Village Voice)
“The laughs don’t come, especially those that pivot on that multivalent word for the punch line: In a scene that signals the soft racism to follow, Linda mishears the standard English greeting of the Ecuadorian concierge, handing out a complimentary drink, as ‘whale cum.’ Snatched is Hawn’s first movie since 2002’s The Banger Sisters. Her half-committed performance here, however understandable, suggests she may have regretted the decision to end her semi-retirement.”

Tom Huddleston (Time Out)
“What follows is a series of aimless, goofy hijinks, as the pair hamfistedly escape only to bicker their way across the Amazon jungle. A few of the gags hit home – Schumer’s flawless timing makes the best of some creaky one-liners. Her blend of glee and horror when she inadvertently murders one of their captors hints at the sharper, more interesting film that might’ve been. But too much of the humour derives from Emily’s insatiable appetite for booze, food and sex, while the central mother-daughter relationship is predictable. Goldie Hawn broke a self-imposed 15-year retirement for this – she must be missing her armchair now.”

Matt Goldberg (Collider)
Snatched won’t upend the R-rated comedy genre, nor is it trying to. It knows its wants to be an R-rated mother-daughter comedy complete with dark comedy and gross-out humor. Everyone acquits themselves well, and while it may not be a game-changer, it shouldn’t have to be. It’s a painfully funny comedy that has a good heart at its center. That’s more than enough.”