Snatched

Posted on May 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm

B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout
Profanity: Very strong and crude language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking and drunkenness, drug references
Violence/ Scariness: Extended action-style comic peril and violence with some disturbing and grisly images, characters injured and killed, graphic medical procedure
Diversity Issues: Stereotyped portrayal of South Americans
Date Released to Theaters: May 12, 2017

Copyright 2017 20th Century Fox
Copyright 2017 20th Century Fox
Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer), pulls an old scrapbook out of the closet in her childhood home and leafs through old photos of her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn). Like Emily, those images bring back memories of happier times and remind her how much she misses her once-adventuresome mom. Unfortunately, they also bring back our memories of better movies and how much we have missed Hawn’s irresistible effervescence in the 15 years since her last film. Schumer has been everywhere talking about how much she adores Hawn and how thrilled she was to get a chance to co-star with her in “Snatched,” directed by Jonathan Levine (“50-50,” “The Wackness,” “The Night Before”), and written by Katie Dippold (“The Heat,” “Ghostbusters”). It is too bad she relegated her to the dreary role of the risk-averse mother. And it is too bad that Schumer continues to relegate herself to the almost-as-dreary role of the immature, millennial.

Emily gets both fired and dumped (both for good reason) just as she is about to take a vacation in Ecuador, so she retreats to her childhood home, where her agoraphobic brother (Ike Barinholtz) still lives with her divorcee mother, whose character traits come straight out of the cliche drawer: she sips white wine, loves her cats, has four locks on her front door, does not know the difference between a private message and posting on a Facebook wall and needs help unlocking the CAPS key. And Schumer’s Linda is the same self-centered and childish but raunchy character we’ve seen Schumer play too many times already. Emily is too careless. Linda is too careful. Got it? The opening crawl warns us that the movie will feature “violence, mayhem, and a reckless disregard for human life…the kidnappers did bad stuff, too.” So, another “Hangover” variation in the jungles of South America (but filmed in Hawaii).

How does Emily persuade the hyper-cautious Linda to go to Ecuador with her? Wheedling and guilt don’t work, but the magic word is “nonrefundable ticket.” (“Put the ‘fun’ in ‘nonrefundable!'”) So the next thing they know, they are at an elegant resort, where, just to make sure we did not miss the point, Emily lounges by the pool in a bikini and Linda comes out dressed, as Emily points out, like the sun-sensitive character in “Powder” — or a beekeeper. And she slathers sun block on Emily like she’s a toddler.

Emily and Linda get kidnapped for ransom, bicker, escape, get captured again, bicker, escape, etc. Pretty much every South American is a servant or a criminal. The State Department is useless. There are pratfalls and shoot-outs and one very disgusting medical procedure. Various encounters along the way are funny in the usual raunchy comedy mode, especially Christopher Meloni as a khaki-wearing guide who is up for adventure but maybe not up to it, and the invaluable Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack as American tourists with some special ops skills. The movie would have been better if it was about them.

Parents should know that this film includes very explicit sexual references and crude humor, very strong language, brief nudity, graphic medical treatment, extended peril and violence, some humor about mental illness and disability, characters injured and killed (played for comedy), and some graphic and disturbing images.

Family discussion: Who changes more on the trip, Linda or Emily? Why is it hard for Emily to be nice to her mother?

If you like this, try: “Trainwreck” and “Inside Amy Schumer”

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