The Invercargill Eye - - YOUR HEALTH -

It should have been com­edy gold. You’ve got the love­able com­edy queen, Goldie Hawn, fi­nally back on the big screen af­ter a 15-year hia­tus. You’ve got Amy Schumer, the cur­rent bad girl of com­edy, rid­ing a high since her 2015 smash hit Train­wreck. You’ve even got a stel­lar sup­port­ing cast that in­cludes Wanda Sykes, Ike Bar­in­holtz and (a mute, but still funny) Joan Cu­sack.

Yet while Snatched may be many things, com­edy gold isn’t one of them.

The film starts out promis­ing enough. Schumer is in her el­e­ment as the self-ab­sorbed, selfie-tak­ing party girl Emily, who gets fired from her re­tail job, then dumped by her muso boyfriend.

Stuck with two tick­ets to Ecuador and un­able to per­suade any of her friends to join her, Emily hits up her mum, Linda (Hawn), to help her ‘‘put the fun in non-re­fund­able’’.

Linda, a di­vorced, anx­i­etyrid­den cat lady, takes a bit of con­vinc­ing: ‘‘Ev­ery­body knows you need two years to plan a va­ca­tion.’’

Soon they’re sip­ping drinks by the pool and ar­gu­ing over sun­block – un­til a hunky trav­eller (Tom Bate­man) leads Emily astray. Linda’s worst fear be­comes a re­al­ity as the moth­er­daugh­ter duo gets kid­napped by lo­cal bad­dies (I’m not even go­ing to touch on the South Amer­i­can stereo­types) and ends up on a bum­bling es­cape run through the jun­gle.

That’s when things start to go down­hill.

In­stead of a sharp buddy com­edy with re­lat­able moth­er­daugh­ter ban­ter and bick­er­ing, we’re now stuck in the Ama­zon with slap­stick set-pieces and tired cliches.

Even the per­fect pair­ing of Hawn and Schumer can’t save the lazy script, which is a sur­prise com­ing from screen­writer Katie Dip­pold, who also wrote the fun buddy com­edy Heat and last year’s Ghost­busters re­make. Odd pac­ing from di­rec­tor Jonathan Levine ( Warm Bodies, 50/50) and poor edit­ing doesn’t help ei­ther.

Per­haps the film’s big­gest crime though is con­fin­ing the vi­brant, bub­bly Hawn to the ‘‘straight-man’’ role, which leaves most of the laughs up to Schumer, who, as usual, walks a very fine line be­tween crude and clever.

To be fair, there are plenty of laughs here, as well as an easy odd-cou­ple chem­istry be­tween Hawn and Schumer. And their com­bined star power may well be enough for fans to over­look the film’s flaws. It’s just a shame Snatched never re­ally gives those stars a chance to shine. – Christina Kuntz

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