Mother of all com­edy pair­ings shine in this jun­gle hol­i­day from hell

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - INSIDER -

AMY Schumer has a trans­gres­sive edge that can sur­vive even the clunki­est of com­edy ve­hi­cles.

Snatched (pun surely in­tended) is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple.

With Schumer at the wheel of this un­road­wor­thy ac­tion ca­per, you are never en­tirely sure where it is head­ing.

And that makes Jonathan Levine’s er­ratic di­rec­tion seem in­ten­tional.

Snatched’s vil­lains might be car­toon­ish and pre­dictable, but its self-ab­sorbed lead­ing lady, Emily Mid­dle­ton, is con­stantly on the verge of self-in­flicted in­jury — be it phys­i­cal or emo­tional.

She doesn’t so much break taboos as blindly tram­ple over them. (The night­club bath­room scene — in which the door opens to re­veal Emily wash­ing her gen­i­talia in the com­mu­nal sink — trumps even Brides­maids’ di­ar­rhoea se­quence in terms of sheer awk­ward­ness.)

Re­turn­ing to the big screen af­ter a 14-year ab­sence, Goldie Hawn plays Emily’s over­cau­tious mother Linda.

It’s an in­spired piece of cast­ing — Hawn’s ditzy warmth is the per­fect coun­ter­point to Schumer’s catas­tro­phe-on-legs.

When Emily’s boyfriend dumps her on the eve of a planned hol­i­day to Ecuador, the des­per­ate sin­gle­ton per­suades Linda, against her bet­ter judg­ment, to ac­com­pany her.

If James (Tom Bate­man), the hunky fel­low trav­eller Emily meets on her first night at the bar, seems almost too good to be true, that’s be­cause he is. His in­vi­ta­tion to show mother and daugh­ter the real Ecuador turns out to be a set-up — James is in ca­hoots with a bunch of very bad men who kid­nap white tourists in or­der to ex­tort a ran­som from their fam­i­lies back home. (Un­for­tu­nately for Emily and Linda, their point per­son is emo­tion­ally-ar­rested, ago­ra­pho­bic brother/son Jef­frey (Ike Bar­in­holtz).

Schumer was never go­ing to play a clas­sic vic­tim. Her first at­tempt at es­cape re­sults in the ac­ci­den­tal killing of the crime king pin’s nephew (with a shovel).

Al­ways re­li­able, co­me­di­ans Wanda Sykes and Joan Cu­sack have a whole lot of fun with their roles as two civic­minded fel­low tourists.

Snatched is a dis­ap­point­ing fol­low-up to Schumer’s 2015 break­through film, Train­wreck, which she (per­haps wisely) penned her­self, but the film is saved by com­mit­ted per­for­mances from its two ta­lented leads.

A Mother’s Day al­ter­na­tive that beats slip­pers, at least.

NOW SHOW­ING ( VMAX AND GOLD CLASS)

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