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Snatched – Movie Review

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Snatched – Movie Review

Rating: B (Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Amy Schumer has proven herself to be one of the best comics working together, with a simple ad-libbed style and bringing an odd sort of likeability to heavily flawed characters. With Snatched, she has been paired up with Goldie Hawn in a winning combination. Director Jonathan Levine knows how to handle both actresses and he has a funny screenplay credited to Katie Dippold to work from. Snatched is hardly a groundbreaking comedy, but it produces the right amount of laughs to make it a fun night out. That it succeeds at being consistently funny with what would otherwise be a serious subject matter is a further accomplishment.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn truly carry the film and their continuous attempts to escape their current situation provides some of its funniest moments. The comedy builds as the story gets crazier and the two of them get more desperate and paranoid. Yet through it all, there is a genuine arc between this mother and daughter and there is an immediate desire for them to get out of this situation unharmed. Emily and Linda provide distinct perspectives during this ordeal and that makes their interactions all the funnier. Schumer is given more of the low-brow jokes, but she pulls them off with her usual delivery that can effectively alternate between deadpan and pitiful.

Snatched is also aided by a solid supporting cast. Joan Cusack provides a decent amount of laughs without uttering a single word, although her funniest bits were likely done by a stunt double. There’s an amusing subplot with Ike Barinholtz trying to get a government agent, played by Bashir Salahuddin, to save his mother and sister. Like the central storyline, it just gets funnier and more absurd whenever we return to it. Christopher Meloni similarly has fun as an American traveler who helps them on their journey. However, Levine always make sure the audience’s focus is on the leads and keeps the pace moving.

While the humour in Snatched is predominately crude, it’s not written for the sake of shock value and Levine and Dippold vary the gags. The more physical jokes are funny as is the simple verbal humour. There are jokes that maybe wouldn’t have worked under the wrong director or a miscast actor. Yet because Levine, Dippold, Schumer and Hawn know how to approach the scenario, the humour lands. Snatched clips along at the right pace and in an age where comedies seem to be getting longer, it’s refreshing that this film ends on the 90 minute mark and not a second longer. Although the temptation may have been high with Amy Schumer as the co-lead, the film doesn’t derail into ad-libbed improv sessions and Line-O-Rama.

The main attraction for many prior to seeing Snatched will be Goldie Hawn appearing on the big screen for the first time in fifteen years. She certainly hasn’t lost any of her spark and partnering with Amy Schumer was a brilliant move. One can easily imagine these two talented comediennes starring in future comedies as they play tremendously well off each other. A lot of credit for Snatched’s success also goes to Katie Dippold for keeping the script tight and Jonathan Levine for getting the pacing and timing down. This is a fitting relaxing comedy to see during the summer movie season.

 

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE


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