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Movie review: Schumer and Hawn grab laughs in ‘Snatched’

First Published      Last Updated May 12 2017 12:08 pm

In the comedy "Snatched," being funny is more important than story structure, character development and basic coherence — but as long as it generates laughs, no matter how gross, that's all that matters.

As she did in "Trainwreck," Amy Schumer plays a young single woman whose life is a shambles. Emily Middleton has just been fired from her retail job, dumped by her musician boyfriend (Randall Park) and stuck with nonrefundable tickets for two to a luxury resort in Ecuador. With no friends willing to take the trip with her, Emily browbeats her safety-obsessed mom, Linda (Goldie Hawn), into going along.




In Ecuador, the Instagram-addicted Emily gets chatted up by James (Tom Bateman), a handsome adventurer who offers to show her and Linda the hidden beauties of the Amazon region. Too late, Emily realizes it's a set-up, and mother and daughter are taken hostage by Colombian crime bosses. They manage to escape, but have to traverse the jungle without killing each other — while, back home, Emily's agoraphobic brother, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), tries to spur an unhelpful State Department official (Bashir Salahuddin) to take action.

Screenwriter Katie Dippold ("The Heat") peppers Emily and Linda's journey with oddball characters, including Wanda Sykes as a danger-averse tourist, Joan Cusack as her mute ex-Special Ops "platonic friend," and Christopher Meloni as an Indiana Jones-like hero the Middleton women meet in a village cantina.

Some of Dippold's gags don't work, but the ones that do generate enough laughter to cover. Director Jonathan Levine ("The Night Before," "50/50") zips breezily from one set-up to the next, never dwelling too long on anything that would break the string of laughs.

If it weren't for Schumer and Hawn, though, "Snatched" wouldn't be worth the effort. The two comic performers inspire each other to take risks, to go for bigger laughs at the expense of dignity. And they seem to be having fun together, a vibe that permeates the movie and patches up any rough spots.

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AT A GLANCE

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‘Snatched’

A mother and daughter find themselves kidnapped in the Amazon in this raunchy, laugh-filled comedy.

Where » Theaters everywhere.

When » Opens Friday, May 12.

Rating » R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout.

Running time » 90 minutes.


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