Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) loses her job and gets dumped right before a trip she planned to Ecuador with her now ex. She decides to take her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) with her, but they get kidnapped by locals who pick up naive American tourists. Hilarity ensues as they escape.
Snatched makes me yearn for all the great Goldie Hawn roles we missed in the 15 years since she last made a movie. The mother role suits her just as well as the ingenue did. Linda is right about safety concerns, but it’s funny how resigned she is to it when she’s in actual danger. Her exasperation at the mundane realities that reveal themselves in crises really sell it.
Emily is basically Schumer’s Trainwreck and standup persona and it works. Put that character in an outrageous scenario and try the arc that way instead of a rom-com. Well, it is kind of a girlmance between mother and daughter.
Ike Barinholtz is also great as Emily’s maMA’s boy brother Jeffrey. Barinholtz is really great at making these comic supporting roles memorable, like his insane creepy clown in Neighbors 2.
Snatched pretty much moves from set piece to set piece, each one a clever twist on an action/adventure trope or American tourist stupidity. There’s shock and grossout in good measure, but mostly banter and kooky characters. Indiscriminate violence occurs with the same abandon as it did in Spy, which was another great female action-comedy from members of this filmmaking team.
There are some worthwhile themes in Snatched too. One is that bureaucracy really can’t help you on either side of the border. You’ve got to save yourself. And of course, listen to your mother, at least when she’s as savvy and cool as Goldie Hawn.
Snatched is a fun summer comedy, and at a solid 90 minutes there are no wasted scenes. It’s probably the most feel good kidnapping movie ever too, or at least in the top five.