It looks as if the Amy Schumer honeymoon has officially ended with Snatched, a mind-numbing exercise in who cares. Any argument that Schumer is the next great woman comic should be put to rest, along with any notion that she’s somehow subversive. The idea here is that female-led comedies can be just as gross and puerile as anything a man can make, something proven with Bridesmaids (2011) and still somehow a notion Hollywood feels the need to explore.
The main issue is that the film has no tact, no craftsmanship. The comedic elements mainly revolve around Schumer, who’s given free rein to just riff on whatever contrived moment the script has plopped her into. There aren’t jokes, really, just formless asides and smarmy remarks that are supposed to pass for laughs. When that’s not happening, the film is propped up with noisy physical comedy and gross-out gags (like a CGI tapeworm being yanked from Schumer’s throat) that confuse volume for cleverness. It’s the kind of shrieking clamor that makes Will Ferrell seem nuanced.
Some of this might be excusable if it weren’t packaged inside such an inefficient and pained script. The setup is that obnoxious do-nothing Emily (Schumer) gets fired from her retail job and dumped by her boyfriend (Randall Park, Office Christmas Party) right before her vacation to Ecuador. With the tickets being nonrefundable, she strong-arms her shut-in mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) into going with her. The two, however, find themselves kidnapped by a Colombian drug lord (Oscar Jaenada, The Shallows) and have to figure out how to get home.
While I’ll accept that as a premise, the movie takes its sweet time just to get going, instead creaking along as it sets up the sheer unlikability of Emily as a human being. She’s vapid and selfish, which would be acceptable if there was some sort of growth in her character over the course of the film. But nope, it never happens; she’s just as off-putting as the credits roll. Linda has a vague arc to herself, but it’s minor and not really useful since her character is such a nonentity to begin with.
The rest of Snatched is little more than a collection of plot holes tortured into place by a lazy script. This is a movie that did the least amount of work possible, hoping that no one would notice. Judging by its meager box office and the way its already flitting away from my memory, my guess is that few actually will notice. Rated R for crude sexual content, brief nudity and language throughout. Now playing at AMC Classic, Carolina Cinemark, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande.