Snatched

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Amy Shumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Christopher Meloni, Randall Park, Tom Bateman, Oscar Jaenada, Bashir Salahuddin, Colin Quinn

Rated: R (crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout)

When her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.

 

20th Century Fox celebrated Mother’s Day by throwing a careless daughter (Amy Shumer) and her cautious mother (Goldie Hawn) into a vacation-gone-bad comedy and insisting we all spend our money on their lazy product. Let me spend one sentence being nice: “Snatched” has enough laughs to avoid being the disaster that it could be and it’s certainly better than some similar films such as “Hot Pursuit,” released almost exactly two years ago. Now I’ll be forthright: “Snatched” is a terrible movie you should avoid.

Its story is nonsensical and mean-spirited and it’s no exaggeration to say the one-dimensional “bad guys” are more sympathetic than Shumer’s garbage of a character, Emily. There were times I was genuinely rooting for her to die so that the movie would end and I could go home. Even things I liked — for instance Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack who play looney Americans vacationing at the same resort in Ecuador — don’t make any sense narratively and don’t contribute anything beyond interrupting the story to give us the laughs the real story doesn’t.

It’s not a great sign when a mediocre non-sequitur is the best part of a movie simply because it distracts from how poorly constructed the rest of the movie has been. While director Jonathan Levine came into “Snatched” with a track record of thoughtful comic filmmaking, that pattern is pushed aside for not only 2017′s worst comedy-to-date, but its worst film-to-date period. Simply imagine Paul Feig making the worst possible version of the films he’s made and you’ve approximated “Snatched” well enough that you don’t have to endure it in full.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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