Snatched. Film Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * *

Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Tom Bateman, Bashir Salahuddin, Christopher Meloni, Óscar Jaenada.


Mixed: a sense of neither engaging, being fun enough to overlook the obvious, or unresponsive enough to find certain aspects of the film entertaining; for Snatched, it might go down on its epitaph that this particular film is neither here nor there. Its ideas are laudable but not sincere, that it brings one of the greats of her time in Goldie Hawn back to the screen but then doesn’t relish the part that she plays as the once gregarious girl of the film’s past nor as the woman who made films such as Death Becomes Her and Private Benjamin such sublime pieces of art.

Snatched is neither worthy or distinctly terrible, it has the unfortunate luck of being placed in that half way house which usually means it will be forgotten in shorter time, that the premise is commendable and a superb cautionary tale of the single woman alone, yet does not have, with the exception of Wanda Sykes and Christopher Meloni, have the legs it was made for. In many ways, it feels like a creature put together hurriedly and if only the people behind it had turned it even a degree more to the serious, it would have made a good film about the dangers of travelling abroad and the unfounded fears of the ultra cautious.

This element of the severe is carried as much as it can be by both Tom Bateman and Óscar Jaenada, the implication of the kidnappers role in some countries, that they rely completely on the information posted by the trusting European or American guide, is somehow in keeping more with a good drama and not the comedy effect that Ms. Schumer was perhaps intending.

When a film can portray the lighter side with the disturbing it normally shows a real gift for the audience to unwrap, that by being shown the two distinct halves of life, the masks of the jester as they move between dread and fear and humour, the allusion to life itself; somehow this film doesn’t see that and instead becomes engrossed in a shade of perceived ambiguity, of willing to impress but instead capitalising on the wrong elements of the story to drive the message home.

Neither here nor there, a film which has no idea in which way it wishes to be taken and one that fails to elevate one of the great comedic actors of her time; Snatched sits in the middle of expectation having unfortunately missed the point and its potential.

Ian D. Hall