Amy Schumer’s second major Hollywood vehicle is much more hit and miss than Trainwreck, working hilariously only sporadically
Almost the atypical Hollywood comedy in the ratio of jokes that hit versus jokes that miss, Snatched is periodically really fun, and a diverting enough comedy to spend 90 minutes with in the long run. When it isn’t funny, it’s painful, such as in a big gross-out gag involving a tapeworm being pulled from Amy Schumer’s mouth. An international kidnapping story with small shots taken at American xenophobia and the complications of American extradition, Snatched is mostly just an excuse to give some decently funny females a chance to play crazy and raunchy. There’s an attempt at heart in the middle with the relationship between Schumer and Goldie Hawn, which is the hook of the film that probably got a lot of butts in the seats. It’s cute enough, but feels unjustified, particularly because Schumer’s character is so obnoxious and casually stupid that we never really feel like we see her change. That lends a helping hand to the comedy, but does nothing to ground the film in any actual emotions.
A lot of the times it’s crass and crude for the sake of being crass and crude. The movies biggest problem is that despite its South American hook and exotic locale, it’s pretty much exactly like every other R-rated comedy out there. I won’t remember most of Snatched by next week, and that’s kind of by design. Ever since the rise of Judd Apatow plenty of imitators have tried to replicate that line-o-rama improv style of comedy, and generally not many of them stick. There is some talent on display here; Jonathan Levine’s had a pretty decent track record, like the stoner Christmas comedy The Night Before and cancer dramedy tearjerker 50/50. When the movie wakes up from its generic slumber to surprise you with a genuinely funny gag, in particular the identity of Christopher Meloni’s Indiana Jones guide and his eventual fate. Reliable supporting players like Ike Barnholtz, Wanda Sykes, and a mute Joan Allen bring a lot of energy when the Schumer show is running a low on fumes.
Snatched is a decent movie to rent with your mother, wake her up when she inevitably falls asleep for the eventual good line or two, and then never talk about again. It’s hard to tell whether that’s a compliment or not, but I think it slightly is.