Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Snatched

1.5/4

Starring: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Tom Bateman, Christopher Meloni, Oscar Jaenada

Rated R for Crude Sexual Content, Brief Nudity and Language Throughout

"Snatched" is what this movie did to my life.  Because I decided to watch this movie, 90 precious minutes of my life were stolen by this turkey.  90 minutes doesn't seem like much in terms of a lifetime, but when you spend it watching a movie this bad instead of, say, cleaning the toilet, you get a little pissed.  As much as I wanted to, I stayed so I could review it and encourage you to stay away from this dud.  I hope you're happy.

Admittedly, the filmmakers picked the wrong plot for a comedy.  Tourists getting kidnapped by locals for nefarious purposes is a very real threat in some areas of the world.  Turning this into a comedy would require a deft touch, something that Jonathan Levine does not possess.  There is a constant sense of whiplash between a violent situation and lowbrow comedy that permeates through this movie.  In addition to being unfunny, it's inept.

Emily (Schumer) is having a very bad day.  She lost her job, her boyfriend dumped her just before their trip to Ecuador (with non-refundable tickets), and none of her friends can go with her.  Her only option is her neurotic mother Linda (Hawn), who she doesn't really like.  Reluctantly Linda agrees to go.  While there, Emily meets a sexy Australian named James (Bateman) who takes them on a day trip.  Of course, he's setting them up for a nasty criminal by the name of Morgado (Jaenada).  Now they have to figure out how to stay alive and get to the nearest consulate.  Meanwhile, Emily's brother Jeffrey (Barinholtz), who never leaves the house, attempts to get a federal official to rescue them.

Like so many comedies these days, much of the film seems improvised.  While it never reaches the level of Seth Rogen's antics, there are plenty of moments where the characters restate what they just said over and over again.  Does anyone find this funny?  Shakespeare said that "Brevity is the soul of wit," and that's true.  It is also true that acting obnoxious and crude is funny only when there is a logic behind it.  That's not the case when you're trying to get the attention of a Fed by suddenly speaking Klingon.  Humor requires logic to work.  Sadly, these days, movies follow the Seth Rogen formula where actors just mug the camera and hope they can come up with something funny.  People on set may find it hilarious, but the audience doesn't.

I am disappointed in Amy Schumer.  She soared to worldwide fame two years ago with "Trainwreck," a touching and hilarious romantic comedy that showed off her comic and dramatic skills.  That movie had real characters and real wit, which earned it a spot on my Top 10 list that year.  But here, she's being lazy, coasting by on her charisma and every-woman appeal.  How can someone who is so funny think this script was worthy of her talents.  Hollywood is littered with talented people who were one-hit wonders.  If she wants to survive in the treacherous waters of showbiz, she can't make movies like this.

Why did Goldie Hawn decide to make her comeback in this?  Apart from a voice appearance on the kids TV show "Phineas and Ferb," Hawn hasn't done any work in 15 years.  Why make a comeback with this stinker?  A Hollywood legend like herself doesn't need to stoop this low, no matter how hard up for cash or how bored she is.  This is a waste of her talent.

There are a few moments worthy of a smile or a chuckle, but really, this movie just isn't worth your time.

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