Amy Schumer has made it abundantly clear that she has the same right as any male comic to be crude, crass and vulgar. What she reveals so painfully with her new film, “Snatched,” is that she also has the same rights as any male comic to make a film that has less laughs than a funeral for a puppy, orphan and nun.
Here’s the real lesson learned: Just being crude, crass and vulgar isn’t enough. The material has to be be funny. “Snatched” isn’t.
Schumer plays Emily, a whiny, lethargic slug who finds herself alone after her rocker boyfriend (Randall Park) dumps her on the eve of a planned trip to Ecuador. After running out of friends who have no intentions of being trapped anywhere with Emily (and it is obvious why), she finally turns to her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn).
Despite Linda’s concerns about safety and health issues, the vacation starts positively enough. Emily even meets a charming man (Tom Bateman) who takes her on short trips through the countryside. It’s no surprise to anyone except Emily when the attention turns into a kidnapping.
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This is where the film goes from a boring comedy to a mangled mess. Director Jonathan Levine and writer Katie Dippold are so wishy-washy in their approach that the movie never hits the absurdity levels it needs to be a broad comedy nor does it delve into the kind of bizarre humor that would make this an entertaining black comedy.
The film’s just a jumble of Emily only taking a break from complaining about the heat and being hungry when she’s killing people to quirky characters to endless scenes of Hawn and Schumer stomping through the jungle while arguing. Where’s a boa constrictor when you need one?
You know a film is in serious trouble when all of the supporting players are far more interesting than the central figures. Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack play a traveling pair who are always prepared for the biggest disasters. The blend of the sassy comedy of Sykes with the cool reserve Cusack brings to her role make these two fun to watch.
But, it’s Christopher Meloni as an American looking for adventure in South America who steals the movie. His character is so twisted and weird that the entire movie should have been told from his point of view. At least his part is funny.
There should have been no way for the supporting players to outshine Hawn and Schumer. The combination of Hawn’s great skill to play ditzy with Shumer’s in-your-face comedy style should have made them unbeatable. Neither rises to the challenge.
Schumer is so bad in this movie that the biggest laughs she gets are by exposing her breast and passing gas. That’s not smart comedy writing, just laziness. All Schumer has done is proven that comedians of all faith, creed or sex can be in a production that is criminally unfunny.
Best-case scenario with “Snatched” is that you are kidnapped and taken from the theater during a screening. Worst case is you are kidnapped and forced to watch this total mess.
Rick Bentley: @RickBentley1
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, Christopher Meloni, Randall Park, Tom Bateman
Director: Jonathan Levine
Rated R (mature thematic elements, brief nudity, crude sexual content, language)
Opens: Friday, May 12