Whether it be director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Of), screenwriter Katie Dippold (The Heat, Parks & Recreation) or Amy Schumer herself, Snatched has a ton of high-profile talent coming together. Does the movie provide some laugh-out-loud moments? Definitely. Does it provide any semblance of a story or give audiences anything to be invested in besides a series of funny scenes? Unfortunately not.
Snatched tells the story of Emily (Schumer) as she struggles to find someone to go on her non-refundable trip to Ecuador. She’s not responsible at her job, doesn’t show the best manners around people and fails to spend time with her family, you’ll never guess her character arc right? Her mother (Goldie Hawn), despite her overt cautiousness and fear of world, reluctantly goes on the vacation with her daughter (again, the character “arcs” are pretty basic here). Within a day they two are kidnapped and shenanigans ensue.
Though this may be coming off a bit harsh that is not the intention. Snatched is a perfectly serviceable comedy. Everyone involved gets a few scenes to really go for it in the laugh department. Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack are in the film as a wacky pair of vacationers who have adventure/special ops training. Ike Barinholtz is hilarious in every scene he is in (as we’ve come to expect). Though his IMDB page is full of writing credits (mainly for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon), Bashir Salahuddin is a standout as a State Department employee given the annoying task of rescuing these clueless Americans.
The problem with Snatched? While the writing is funny and these actors bring their A-game, Snatched is closer to an extended episode of Saturday Night Live (or Inside Amy Schumer, for the direct comparison) rather than a full length motion picture. Drinking/partying jokes? Check. Ike Barinholtz as a grown man dependent on his mother due to Agoraphobia? Check. A strange scene in which a 3rd-world doctor comedically removes a tape worm? Check (it was so weird).
Walking out of Snatched, there was never a thought of feeling robbed by the movie or anything like that. There were plenty of laughs throughout the movie’s runtime. But to be clear, if you were looking for anything other than a series of disconnected funny scenes then the film is a major disappointment. As alluded to earlier, our two main characters have the most basic arcs you can find, and everyone else is so ridiculous (Joan Cusack is a former military officer who doesn’t speak the entire movie) that you can’t get invested in them in any way.
Somehow or another, Amy Schumer has come to be a meme in internet land, the punchline of a lot of jokes (I don’t hold that opinion). Whether it be her work on Inside Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, her stand up specials, or even here in Snatched, she’s proven to be hilarious. It is just unfortunate that the film offers little more than some goofy opportunities for the actors to show their comedic chops. Not offensive in any way, Snatched is perfectly fine way to spend your time at the movies, here’s hoping all the talent involved can work together on a more investing comedy in the future.