Going all the way back to Rambo: First Blood Part II, going all the way back to 1985, I still remember being told by The Woke that it is racist to drop a white American into a foreign country only to have him menaced by brown people. This belief did not stop there, for as recently as 2008, with the box office smash Taken, I was again told by The Woke, not only that it is racist to drop a white American into a foreign country to be menaced by brown people, but to do so with a blonde American female is super-duper racist.
How then, in this, Year One of The Woke, does one get away with Snatched, which is all about dropping TWO blonde females into a foreign country where both are relentlessly menaced by brown people? (Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.)
Amy Schumer not only stars in Snatched, she is one of the producers. But-but-but isn’t Schumer supposed to be all kinds of Woke, and isn’t her Woke-ness supposed to compensate in a large way for the fact that she is not very funny — you know, like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers?
The racism in Snatched doesn’t even end there. Brown people who are not portrayed as machete-wielding marauders chasing two white chicks across Latin America are either portrayed as cowards, incompetent, fools, or as saintly villagers just waiting for a white liberal to save them from their own clean water problems.
This is not Woke, not even close — this is textbook left-wing patronizing and stereotyping. Say what you want about Rambo, at least his sidekick, a tough, brave woman, was brown.
But Amy Schumer wants us to believe she is plenty Woke. We know this because even as she is fleeing from menacing brown people, she is showing off her chubby body in a bikini meant for a Playboy model. She also spends most of the movie parading around in a mini dress. Praise be the movie gods this was not in 3D.
Apparently third-wave feminism demands we pretend not to flinch at the sight of an overweight woman dressed inappropriately for her girth. And this is unfortunate. Instead of demanding we dare not laugh cuz sexism, had Schumer the courage to play her doughy body for chuckles, say, in the way Will Ferrell does, Snatched might have actually had some laughs.
Sadly there is not a laugh to be had.
Nothing is funny. It is either strained, a wild swing-and-a-miss, shrill, a cliché, or just bizarre. A good example is that Joan Cusack’s character has no tongue, and yet not a single laugh is to be had from this. It is just kind of a thing we have to live with. Sure, it could have generated a few laughs had Cusack’s character tried to talk. But that might have stoked controversy from the Tongueless Defamation League, or something.
To be fair, not every comedy requires big laughs or even small laughs. I’m perfectly happy to sit in the dark in a state of mild amusement. There are no hard feelings if all the movie delivers is a big, dumb smile. And for the first 10 minutes or so, Snatched is pretty amusing. The set-up, the introduction of the three main characters, all made a very good first impression. I liked this movie.
And then I didn’t.
Outside of Snatched’s aesthetic sins and the tired tropes involving brown people, I especially resented the waste of a goddess like Goldie Hawn, who plays Schumer’s mother. Hawn has been missing from the screen for 15 long years, and not only are her infinite talents as a comedic and dramatic actress wasted by one of the worst and least imaginative scripts ever written, her character is a total, tired cliché — the overbearing mother who lives with cats. Man alive.
The film’s direction is almost as bad. Some of the so-called action scenes (where the blonde American women kill menacing brown people) are so poorly shot and awkwardly edited and choreographed — honestly, 70’s TV did it better.
And then there is that ending, you know, where the characters are supposed to complete their respective arcs, where they show us their personal growth after this incredible experience. Without giving anything away, other than giving Schumer and Hawn an opportunity to dance wildly over the end-credits, other than trying to salvage the previous (and blissfully short) 90 minutes with a contrived feelgood dance moment, it makes no sense. These women have learned nothing. But the audience has…
In the wrong hands, bikinis are dangerous.