Snatched
Amy Schumer coaxed Goldie Hawn back to the screen for the first time in 15 years with "Snatched." Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

‘Snatched’
Director:
Jonathan Levine
Stars: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn
Rating: R
3 (out of 5) Globes

As the first Goldie Hawn movie in 15 years, “Snatched” is no the Elvis “Comeback Special.” It’s not a legend storming back into public view. It’s more like a soft relaunch — an AWOL star baby-stepping her way onto screens again. Granted, it’s also a big summer comedy with a body count, a raunch-fest featuring a scene where Amy Schumer accidentally cleans out her vag in full view of the man she wants to bag. But Hawn herself rarely goes full Goldie. In her halcyon days, she was the mugging, screaming, magnetic center of attention. Here, she’s more like the straight man, the one who gifts her movie to her wilder, younger co-star.

 

Still, Goldie's as delightful as ever. She’s always been more versatile than credited (she has an Oscar, for one thing), and she’s a good foil to Schumer. The newly-minted star plays Hawn’s daughter Emily, who’s somehow more hopeless than her “Trainwreck” hero. A Facebook-addicted slacker, Emily won’t let her lack of a job and considerable debts stop her from going on a selfie-heavy jaunt to an Ecuador resort. She brings mom (because her boyfriend just dumped her), and the two bond when Emily’s drunken, moronic antics get them kidnapped by a murderous drug cartel.

 

What follows is way more in the Schumer vein than the Goldie. The icon is basically along for the ride, hobnobbing with the new style of comedy, which is very different than hers. It’s almost a shock seeing Hawn in a movie with boob-popping-out running gags, or some plant-and-payoff business involving a rape whistle that’s really a dog whistle. She’s game, though, and the movie is at least funny — often darkly funny, with Emily accidentally committing murder and attempting to send up Ugly Americanism abroad but maybe not quite getting there. (Also refreshing to see again: Joan Cusack as an ex-Special Ops goddess who cut out her own tongue. Remember when Joan Cusack was in everything?)

 

Director Jonathan Levine (“50/50,” “The Night Before”) knows how to keep comedy moving, not getting dragged down by Apatow-style ad-libbing, and he knows that some of the best jokes are purely visual. It always feels like “Snatched” is going to go too too far, get really asinine, but it doesn’t. A set piece where a remotest-Amazon doctor tries to remove a beast of a tapeworm from inside Emily should be bottom-of-the-barrel, but it achieves a certain weird transcendence, basically because it involves a giant tapeworm. Destined for lazy Sunday hangover cable TV bingeing alongside the underrated likes of “Hot Pursuit,” this is a seriously weird comeback movie, and one that didn’t necessarily need to feature the Goldie Hawn herself. But we’ll take what we can get.

 

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge