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Goldie Hawn is as funny as ever, but there's only so much she can do with such a predictable screenplay.
By Sarah Ward
May 12, 2017
By Sarah Ward
May 12, 2017

When Amy Schumer starred in Trainwreck back in 2015, audiences may have felt a sense of niggling deja vu. If you'd watched Inside Amy Schumer or any of her standup shows, you knew exactly the kind of character you were getting — not that that was a big problem, necessarily, since seeing the comedian and actress take her usual persona to the big screen was part of the appeal. But even the funniest folks can only coast on the same material for so long.

That's not to say that Schumer doesn't throw herself into her latest film with gusto, but rather that her character, the aimless, self-absorbed, recently single Emily, offers very little that's new. The same is true of the film in which she resides, which plays out exactly the way you expect it to. Drunken pick-up attempts? Tick. Gags about intimate personal grooming? Tick. One-liners that only work thanks to Schumer's delivery? Keep ticking. A hard-partying character suddenly forced to address her messy existence? Of course that's what Snatched is about.

The film kicks into gear when Emily's cat-loving mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) discovers, via Facebook, that her daughter has been dumped. Emily, for her part, is upset, although seemingly more about her impending, non-refundable vacation to Ecuador than the breakup itself. After trying and failing to find a friend to accompany her on her adventure, Emily discovers an old photo album filled with snaps of a once-carefree Linda travelling in her younger years. So she decides to invite her mother along instead.

With a title like Snatched, it's not a spoiler to say that the duo soon find themselves kidnapped by local criminals. Frankly, it's hard to spoil much about this film, given how formulaic it all feels. From the predictable interplay between mother and daughter to the uncomfortable stereotypes about South America and its inhabitants, the uninspired script by Ghostbusters scribe Katie Dippold leaves one person with a huge job. And no, it's not director Jonathan Levine – the man behind The Night Before, Warm Bodies and 50/50 stays mostly on auto-pilot here.

Instead, it's Hawn who does the bulk of the heavy lifting. It's been 15 years since the actress was last on screen, but the comic force of the '80s and '90s has lost none of her flair. A committed supporting performance by Joan Cusack aside, it's hardly surprising that Hawn's rapport with Schumer is far and away the best thing about this routine jaunt through the jungle. If all Snatched does is inspire you to seek out some of her earlier work, then at least it will have achieved something of value.

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