After she is dumped by her boyfriend, Emily (Amy Schumer) can’t find anyone to take his spot on her dream holiday to Ecuador, other than her over protective and paranoid mother Linda (Goldie Hawn). Not long after the two arrive in Ecuador, they are kidnapped by violent gangsters, and must find a way to survive.
Snatched is written by Katie Dippold, a writer who has made a name for herself in writing scripts for female-led comedies, including The Heat and the recent Ghostbusters reboot. The trouble with Snatched is that it relies on one joke, an annoying basic botch lead character and criminally underuses some great actors.
The cast is led by Amy Schumer, who makes Emily a basic, bratty and selfish character; the kind of character she usually sends up in her TV sketch show. The joke quickly wears thin with Emily, and it is hard to shake the feeling that Emily is a character that is aimed at making young millennials laugh at the older millennials who have never quite got their lives together. Goldie Hawn does not fare much better as the overprotective Linda, who seems only to be on board to bicker with Schumer. The rest of the cast features Ike Barinholtz as Emily’s agoraphobic brother Jeffrey; a fully annoying and bratty character that has very little to redeem him. Also featuring in Snatched are Wanda Sykes as Ruth, a character that talks far too much, and Joan Cusack as Barb, a character who does not talk at all, which seems like a horrible underuse of a wonderful actress.
Screenwriter Katie Dippold seems to have had the idea of the kidnapped behaving more badly than the kidnappers, and this is the main basis for the film; a joke that wears thin very quickly. Also the desperation of Emily as a character makes it hard for the audience to relate to her, and makes her feel as though she simply could not exist in the real world. The jokes do not land for much of the film, and the overall feel of the film becomes drawn out and tiresome very quickly.
Director Jonathan Levine never manages to get the pacing of Snatched moving, leaving it feeling drawn out and overly long. The comic timing of the film is also lacking, leaving characters feeling more crass than comedic, and never manages to shake off the slow, annoying feel of the film.
In all, Snatched is simply not funny, and ultimately feels tiresome and boring, and offensive, although not inclusively offensive. The central joke of the film wears thin very quickly, and the rest of the laughs are sadly missing although the holes in the film for the jokes are obvious and glaring. Snatched should have been smart, funny and over the top, but it fails at every single hurdle.