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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

Emily thought she was going on vacation to Ecuador with her hipster boyfriend, Michael.

And then he dumped her. Time to call off the trip, right?

Er, no. Suddenly single Emily actually bought two non-refundable tickets. Plus, she's going, because, because … well, because it's the right thing to do. "I booked a journey," she vents to her mother, Linda. "And I refuse to let Michael's decision determine whether I, as a woman, go on this trip."

She just needs to find a new travel partner. Easy enough, right? I mean, who doesn't want to take a spontaneous trip to Ecuador? Turns out: everybody.

Which leaves Emily's mother as her last theoretical vacation bud.

Except that Linda, who owns a cat named Phillip and lives with her unemployed thirtysomething man-child son Jeffrey, is a bit, um, phobic. About everything. Being outside. Being around germs. Being around people. Taking any risks. Equatorial adventures? She thinks not.

It wasn't always that way. Digging through mom's closet, Emily discovers a dusty photo album that shows her mother, pre-children, doing all manner of adventurous things. Like going to David Bowie and Thin Lizzy concerts in the '70s. And traveling to London.

"Look at how fun you were!" Emily says. "You don't do anything fun anymore."

And that argument apparently works. So before you can say Quito, they're headed south … which is exactly the direction things go, in a more metaphorical sense, once they arrive.

They do end up on an adventure beyond their wildest imaginings. The only problem is, it involves Emily and Linda being kidnapped by a ruthless kingpin named Morgado.

Positive Elements

Snatched excels at gross-out humor, anatomical vulgarity and lethal hijinks. Between those gags is a story about a mother and daughter trying to reconnect with each other.

Emily resents her mom's meddling (on her Facebook page, in her life) and her corrosively critical perfectionism, while Linda resents her daughter's refusal to acknowledge the sacrifices she made for her and how much she still wants a close relationship. Both long for the acceptance and approval of the other in key ways, but it takes getting kidnapped and escaping into the wilds of the Amazon for them to honestly acknowledge how much they mean to each other. By the closing credits, they've each risked their lives to save the other—and to save their relationship, too.

A handful of supporting characters play positive roles in rescuing Emily and Linda from Morgado's dastardly clutches. Jeffrey (obnoxiously) nags a State Department official named Morgan Russell to take action. An adventurous, Indiana Jones-esque American, Roger Simmons, offers to help them get to safety on his boat. (Roger, of course, isn't quite what he seems to be, but he genuinely does want to help.) Finally, an odd couple named Ruth and Barb (she's a former Special Forces agent) try to give Emily and Linda advice about staying safe (which Emily mocks), and they do their best to locate Emily and Linda after they're nabbed by Morgado's goons.

Spiritual Content

A shirt in Linda's closet reads, "Hoppy Easter." One character exclaims, "Thank God!"

Sexual Content

A woman's breast is exposed. While in Morgado's seedy prison, Linda looks at a pornographic magazine. Accordingly, we briefly glimpse small photographic images of a topless woman and a couple engaged in an sex act.

Emily wears cleavage-baring outfits and a bikini, as do some other women at the resort. At a bar, she's flattered when a hunky guy named James takes an interest in her. Emily hopes for a hook-up. And a suggestive visual and verbal gag revolves around her anxiety about what her intimate anatomy smells like should she and James have sex. (They don't.) Elsewhere, Emily makes other crass comments about her body.

During their breakup, Emily and Michael have a lengthy, crude conversation about how he's artistically "inspired" by sex and the female anatomy. Wounded Emily wonders (vulgarly) why she's not enough for him.

We hear multiple crude quips about various sex acts and body parts. Emily accuses her brother, Jeffrey, of being "so gay for mom." Emily carries some kind of "heat activated" birth control. Linda says that after her divorce, "I thought I would never have sex again." Then she adds, "And I was right."

Linda gives her daughter what she says is a rape whistle, but is in actuality a dog whistle. Emily responds sarcastically, "Are you afraid dogs are going to rape me?"

Barb and Ruth are apparently a couple (though it's not completely clear). Ruth's advice to Emily includes, "Never have more drinks than you have t-ts." Roger repeatedly makes a strangely suggestive comment comparing Ecuador to a male jaguar's genitals.

Violent Content

Margado's lackeys ram the Jeep that James is driving before kidnapping Emily and Linda. The mother and daughter are forced into a truck, but manage to escape.

Emily swings a shovel at a man's head, and we see blood splatter as she makes brutal and effective contact. (We later learn that she killed him.) Emily accidentally fires a harpoon-like spear that kills another man as it impales his throat. Emily and Linda are involved in a melee with Margado, who hits and tosses the women about. It's repeatedly suggested that Margado intends to kill the women (even though he initially wanted to hold them for ransom). At one point, he says, "I'll skin you alive." Emily later turns the tables and levels a gun at him.

A vicious dog attacks and bloodies someone. Emily's misadventures leave her filthy and bloody as well. James is threatened with torture, including a violent suggestion regarding his genitals. Ruth tells Emily and Linda that Barb cut her own tongue out to ensure that she never spilled any Special Forces secrets.

Someone makes a joke about suicide. Several hard falls are played for humor (including a fatal one of a man unexpectedly plunging to his death in a ravine). Two men get kicked hard in the head (which is again treated humorously).

Crude or Profane Language

About 40 misuses of God's name, including at least one pairing with "d--n." About 40 f-words and 20 s-words. "B--ch," "h---" and "t-ts" are used four or five times each. We hear at least 15 crude slang references to other parts of the female anatomy. Emily is called a "whore" by Spanish coworkers (though she doesn't understand them and later has the phrase translated for her). She also says that a friend called her the "c-word." We hear a handful of uses each of "a--," "a--hole," "d--n," and "d-k."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alcohol of various kinds flows freely until the women get kidnapped. Emily is clearly very intoxicated at the end of her evening with James (during which we watch them knock down shots in quick succession at a dance party). We hear verbal references to several different kinds of drinks. Emily talks about her desire to "smoke a j" (a marijuana joint).

Other Negative Elements

We see two seriously gross gags. One involves Linda unknowingly drinking an animal's semen (someone serves it to her, and she misunderstands what it is), then spitting it all over Emily's face and hair when she's told what it is. The other involves two men coaxing a tapeworm out of Emily's mouth, after which they grab it and pull the long worm from her as she screams and squirms. And, yes, that's just as disgusting as it sounds.

Drunken Emily passes gas loudly while in bed in the hotel with her mom. A man tells Emily and Linda that they're too old and ugly for anyone to want to abduct them.

Conclusion

Snatched is a vehicle to give comedian Amy Schumer a big-screen excuse to say and do zany, disgusting things. No more. No less.

Oh, sure, there are some nice mother-daughter reconciliation moments smooshed in. But let's not get carried away: This is an Amy Schumer movie, one in which she lets rip with her signature brand of earthy, self-deprecating, R-rated humor. Schumer repeatedly says vividly confessional things about her anatomy, and two scenes in particular add visual components, too.

The Federalist's D.C. McAllister recently wrote about that fixation with female genitalia in Schumer's stand-up comedy routine. And I think McAllister's assessment here applies to the gynecological humor in Snatched (a title that's likely a naughty double entendre itself) as well:

"In our current culture, brandishing details about your vagina is meaningless and trite. It also adds to the ongoing degradation of women, which is ironic since Schumer and others like her think they're doing the opposite. … They put their genitalia on parade instead of themselves as complete women, and the result is dissonance and dysfunction in our society. Instead of women being respected more, they are respected less. Instead of women being seen as complete subjects, they are reduced to deficient objects. And women are doing this to themselves."

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn have some touching moments as a mother and daughter trying to reconnect in a terrible situation. But I wonder whether viewers will be left thinking about their own important relationships, or simply revisiting the "shock and awe" anatomical moments that might very well steal Snatched.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

R

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Amy Schumer as Emily Middleton; Goldie Hawn as Linda Middleton; Ike Barinholtz as Jeffrey Middleton; Randall Park as Michael; Tom Bateman as James; Wanda Sykes as Ruth; Joan Cusack as Barb; Bashir Salahuddin as Morgan Russell; Christopher Meloni as Roger Simmons; Arturo Castro as Dr. Armando; Óscar Jaenada as Morgado

Director

Jonathan Levine ( )

Distributor

20th Century Fox

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

May 12, 2017

On Video

August 8, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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