SNATCHED (15, 90 mins) Comedy/Drama/Romance/Action. Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Tom Bateman, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Oscar Jaenada, Bashir Salahuddin, Randall Park. Director: Jonathan Levine.
Released: May 19 (UK & Ireland, selected cinemas)
Two generations of film comedy royalty - Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn - are shamefully squandered in Jonathan Levine's odd couple adventure.
Based on a misfiring screenplay by Katie Dippold, who penned the hilarious Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy romp The Heat, Snatched struggles in vain to make us care about a dysfunctional mother and daughter in peril in the jungles of South America.
The tone lurches between macabre (the accidental murders of two kidnappers by shovel and harpoon gun) and toe-curling humiliation (Schumer being caught red-handed washing her undercarriage over a sink), with scant regard for the finer points of character development or plotting.
Undeniably, Levine's romp has its bright moments, led by Joan Cusack as an acrobatic, mute ex-Special Forces operative, and Wanda Sykes as her sassy partner who is laden with sage advice about how a woman should stay safe on holiday ("Never have more drinks than you have tits").
However, girl power runs on empty from the opening frames and by the time Schumer flashes one of her breasts for a cheap laugh, we know the film-makers are up the Amazon without a paddle.
Self-absorbed, hard-partying dreamer Emily Middleton (Schumer) is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend Michael (Randall Park) shortly before a non-refundable trip to Ecuador.
"Don't worry. You still have at least two years to meet someone," messages Emily's mother Linda (Hawn) when she discovers her daughter's online relationship status has reverted to single.
Unable to persuade one of her female friends to accompany her on the South American odyssey, Emily turns instead to her sensible mom.
"Help me put the fun in non-refundable," she pleads.
Linda eventually agrees to abandon her clingy grown-up son Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) for the cocktails and crystal-blue waters of a sun-baked resort.
While the matriarch befriends fellow holidaymakers Barb (Cusack) and Ruth (Sykes), thrill seeker Emily sparks a boozy romance with handsome stranger James (Tom Bateman).
One night of passion leads to the kidnapping of Emily and her mother by notorious crime lord Morgado (Oscar Jaenada), who holds the women hostage for 100,000 US dollars.
When Jeffrey receives the ransom demand for his beloved 'ma ma' and sister, he telephones US State Department official Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin) to coordinate an A-Team style rescue mission.
Snatched makes light of a questionable statistic - one in four tourists in South America are kidnapped - to propel the lead characters on a haphazard journey of self-discovery and reconciliation.
Hawn isn't gifted a single funny line during 90 deflating minutes while Schumer continues to mine half-hearted laughs from her role as the childlike clown, whose heart of gold is concealed behind a foul-mouthed facade.
Levine's picture careens out of control and crashes far short of Schumer's uproarious last picture, the offbeat romantic comedy Trainwreck.
This is just a wreck.
:: SWEARING :: NO SEX :: VIOLENCE :: RATING: 4.5/10