Blu-ray Review: Snatched (2017)

By , Contributor
The earliest releases from the summer of 2017 movie season are beginning to arrive on home video, with Fox Home Entertainment recently issuing Snatched on Blu-ray (also 4K UltraHD, standard DVD, and Digital HD). The movie is comedienne Amy Schumer's follow-up to her leading-lady debut, Trainwreck (a smash hit and surprise awards-season darling in 2015). It's also the first movie starring Goldie Hawn in 15 years. However, bad word of mouth resulted in a quick box office demise. It's not without laughs—in fact, the first half is consistently funny. Schumer and Hawn, playing a mother and daughter on a disastrous vacation to Ecuador, play well off one another. The 90-minute comedy doesn't outstay its welcome and will likely find a wider audience in the home market.

That's not to say it's a great movie. There seems to be large portions of plot missing once Emily (Schumer) and her mom Linda (Hawn) get kidnapped in Ecuador. Basically the entire story amounts to an average American odd couple venturing into a foreign country, unprepared for any dangers that may await them. Newly single Emily swoons over hunky James (Tom Bateman), a seemingly charming local. He's of course too good to be true, only showing interest in Emily in order to snatch her and her mother. 
 
Snatched amy schumer.jpg Snatched is poorly thought out, whether a result of Katie Dippold's screenplay or egregious editing is unknown (in Dippold's favor is her rock solid screenplay for The Heat, which scored with a combination of effective plotting and laughs—a combo not in great evidence here). As Emily and Linda try to evade their pursuers, a theme of mother-daughter bonding emerges. Linda believes her daughter has failed to live up to her potential. Emily believes her mom gave up on life after divorcing. Now they're forced to step up their games. But this stuff isn't mined on anything deeper than a cursory level. It's as if everyone involved simply thought, "Amy and Goldie in the jungle, on the run from bad guys, how could it miss?" As the threadbare plot advances (why are these crooks even bothering with these gals—and how are they able to continue showing up wherever they go?), it devolves into near-nonsense.

But again, amidst ill-advised set pieces (i.e. a staggeringly unfunny bit involving Emily and a tapeworm, which I would've bet the farm was a dream sequence—and I would've lost) there are enough effective throwaway lines, expertly timed smart-ass asides (Hawn's comments as she reads a porno mag while held captive in a cell are particularly giggle-worthy), and funny moments from supporting cast members like Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, and Christopher Meloni (Joan Cusack, on the other hand, is utterly wasted in a literally mute role as Sykes' former black ops partner) to keep Snatched worth a viewing.

Fox's Blu-ray features a surprisingly robust, active DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix (this is an action-comedy, after all). For supplements, we find deleted scenes (12 minutes), extended/alternate scenes (14 minutes), an a gag reel (three minutes). Director Jonathan Levine (The Night Before, Warm Bodies) provides audio commentary.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is film and music. His new jazz album Good Merlin is now available.

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