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With: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Meloni, Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack, Wanda Sykes, Oscar Jaenada, Randall Park
Written by: Katie Dippold
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout
Running Time: 91
Date: 05/12/2017

Snatched (2017)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Kidnap Mishap

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Scads of very funny, women-led comedy films have graced theaters in recent years, including Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, Trainwreck, Pitch Perfect, and even last year's acclaimed, but destroyed-by-social-media Ghostbusters, but they can't all be winners.

Opening Friday in Bay Area theaters, Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, is a flat-out dud.

It does contain a few minor giggles, mostly throwaway lines or momentary bits of slapstick, but because of its ill-conceived characters and situations, it's mostly a bore.

Schumer plays Emily Middleton, a mostly useless grown woman who can't keep a job and hopes to hitch her wagon to her rock star boyfriend (Randall Park). Unfortunately, he'd rather spend his time with groupies.

Now she's stuck with a non-refundable vacation package to Ecuador for two. After some soul searching, she decides to take her worrywart mother Linda (Goldie Hawn).

At the resort, Emily is picked up by a handsome, well-traveled foreigner, and soon mother and daughter find themselves kidnapped by local gangsters.

They escape, are chased, and are aided, intermittently, by adventurer Roger Simmons (Christopher Meloni), by former special ops agent Barb (Joan Cusack), and Barb's platonic friend Ruth (Wanda Sykes). Cusack and Sykes provide a large percentage of the movie's few laughs.

Ike Barinholtz co-stars as Emily's agoraphobic brother, who tries to help from home.

The trouble is that Schumer's character really is a selfish, awful person whose too-little-too-late redemption comes when she helps some locals carry water.

In essence, she has discovered the female version of the most annoying characters played in many horrible comedies by Mike Myers, Rob Schneider, or Adam Sandler.

Hawn, meanwhile, has made a long, lovable career out of playing free-spirited ditzes, and here she is cast as an uptight complainer, constantly saying "I told you so." This is no fun.

Inexplicably written by Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) and directed Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies), the movie simply struggles to fill the time.

It also goes too far into danger and violence; it crosses a line when characters are actually killed, killing laughs as well.

The R-rated comedy tries to be as outrageous and as daring as Schumer seems to be — she's not afraid to look terrible — but it takes too many dumb, easy potshots, including a few culturally insensitive ones.

Schumer will no doubt bounce back from a misfire like Snatched, but if this was anyone's idea of paying tribute to Hawn, who is one of the female icons of comedy acting, they should try again.

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