Friday, 26 May 2017

Snatched

Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer fail to spark off each other in this comedy

Written by Jason Solomons


Mother and daughter comedies are rare, so one feels we should cherish the pairing of Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn in Snatched.

Schumer has developed a large following for her stand-up shows where she delights in foul-mouthed stories of her sexual escapades and relationship failures. Goldie Hawn has always exuded a ditzier vibe – the spoilt princess who, in Private Benjamin, asks the drill sergeant if her new army fatigues come in any other colour than green.

The first part of Snatched belongs to Schumer, who opens with some great, funny stuff revealing her comic timing and uniquely bruised persona. Her character, Emily, getsFilm-Jul17-JasonSolomons-176 dumped by a wannabe rock star boyfriend, right before a booked trip to Ecuador.

Pining drunkenly on social media accounts, Emily’s life gets worse when her mum, Linda, joins in the status updates with motherly platitudes. Despite hating the idea, Emily goes home to visit Linda and persuades her to come on the trip.

These early scenes have a suburban tenderness and gently chiding humour - you’d like to see them do a sitcom together.

But then they are on vacation and the film, directed by Jonathan Levine, shifts into a less interesting gear. Emily drinks a lot (Schumer is one of the best at playing comic drunk so, you know, if ever they give out awards for that, she’s a cert) and gets chatted up by a handsome man, who we know is untrustworthy because, well, he has an English accent.

He offers daughter (and mother) a sightseeing tour which, sure enough, results in them being kidnapped by moustachioed local drug barons.

This should be funny, with Amy and Goldie tied up yet giving their captors the run around through a series of hysterical jungle escapades and mishaps. And there are a few decently amusing scenes, one involving a crossbow.

Yet the jokes seem to wilt in the tropical heat. It’s as if Schumer said: ‘Right, I’ve given you my good material already now, unless you pay me more, I’m just gonna go with the crappy script. No more Schumer for you.’

Poor Goldie, who came out of a self-imposed retirement of more than 10 years to do this movie, is left with little to do. And the pair don’t seem to have been allowed to riff off each other. Maybe the comic chemistry just wasn’t there, and neither of them looks their best after schlepping through the jungle scenes. I don’t know, if I had Goldie Hawn in my movie, I’d do my best to make her look fabulous.

Snatched isn’t terrible. But it doesn’t sparkle like you want it to. Americans are paranoid about going abroad anyway, and being kidnapped. Frankly, the more anti-foreigner propaganda appealing to the mid-West masses is fine by me. Let them stay at home and eat, say I. Although if Goldie Hawn wants to come over for Friday night, I’d make an exception. My Dad would have a heart attack over his chicken soup.


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