Snatched

20th Century Fox / Chernin Entertainment

Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, pervasive profanity and crude humor

Schumer And Hawn Share Vacation From Hell In Hilarious Farce

Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) is just having one of those days. First, she’s fired from her sales job in a boutique for irresponsibly ignoring customers in order to try on outfits for herself. Second, her boyfriend (Randall Park) callously dumps her on the eve of their planned romantic getaway to Ecuador, stating, “You don’t have any direction in life.”

Then, she cries on the shoulder of her mother (Goldie Hawn) who only proceeds to rub salt in her wounds with, “Michael was the best you’ll ever do.” Nevertheless, against her better judgment, Emily invites her on the trip because the pre-paid vacation package is non-refundable.

Trouble is, Linda is also highly-neurotic, a worrier who rarely leaves the house, let alone the country. Plus, she’s a helicopter mom, which means she’ll be hovering around Emily the whole time, and thus probably preventing her from meeting a new guy. In the end, Linda grudgingly agrees to step out of her comfort zone, and hastily packs for what ought to be an uneventful stay an exclusive resort in paradise, judging from the brochure.

That is the stock setup of Snatched, a screwball comedy far more entertaining than it might read on paper. For, while the script does unfold like a generic “Vacation from Hell” yarn, it’s actually way above average, since it’s executed by a stellar cast topped by a quartet of consummate comediennes.

The picture co-stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as the aforementioned mother-daughter at the center of the story. It also features a couple of veterans in scene stealers Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack who make the most of their supporting roles.

The plot thickens soon after the protagonists land in Ecuador. First, Emily’s swept off her feet by a tall, dark and handsome stranger (Tom Bateman) she meets in a bar. The next morning, he lures them off the safe confines of the compound for what’s supposed to be an innocuous adventure of the countryside.

Next thing you know, the Middletons find themselves kidnapped by a ruthless gang led by the bloodthirsty Morgado (Oscar Jaenada) demanding $100,000 ransom. Trouble is, the U.S. State Department couldn’t care less, and Emily’s brother Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz) is an agoraphobic who couldn’t be counted on to come to the rescue.

Not to worry. The squabbling mother-daughter put aside their differences and rely on their wits to survive. Schumer, Hawn, Sykes and Cusack, all at the top of their game.

Pound-for-pound, the funniest film to be released in theaters this year!

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Running time: 91 minutes

 

 

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Warner Brothers Pictures

Rated PG-13 for violence, action, suggestive content and brief profanity

Anything Goes In Guy Ritchie’s Fanciful Reimagining Of Classic Medieval Fable

Do you remember what happened to the Sherlock Holmes franchise in Guy Ritchie’s hands? The low-key, cerebral sleuth who solved mysteries with his intellect suddenly morphed into a flamboyant, two-fisted superhero as likely to rely on brawn as brains to solve a case.

Well brace yourself for a similar transformation with King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword. Again, Ritchie makes a concession to the attention-deficit demographic in crafting a fanciful reimagining of the beloved epic that plays out more like a frenetic, action-packed video game than a classic medieval tale.

Nonetheless, the good news is that the movie works, if all you’re looking for is to be entertained by an overblown summer blockbuster with an A-rating when it comes to state-of-the-art special f/x. And the characters even sport familiar names, from King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) to Lady Guinevere (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) to Merlin the Magician (Kamil Lemieszewski). But I still defy anyone to make sense of this hyperactive adventure which abandons the British folklore upon which it’s ostensibly based in deference to a cinematic mandate for incessant stimulation.

The picture’s rudimentary plot unfolds as follows. At the point of departure, King Uther (Eric Bana) is assassinated at the behest of his power-hungry brother, Vortigern (Jude Law). Instead of ascending to the throne, Arthur grows up a lowly street urchin, utterly oblivious of his royal bloodline until the moment, years later, he manages to pull the magical sword Excalibur out of a stone.

Cognizant of his rendezvous with destiny, with the help of a big bird, an archer (Aidan Gillen), a black knight (Djimon Hounsou) and psychic Guinevere, Arthur embarks on an epic quest to reclaim his birthright. And what an eye-popping spectacle it proves to be!

Guy, I like what you’ve done with the legend!

 

Very Good (3 stars)

Running time: 126 minutes

 

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

For movies opening May 19, 2017

 

Alien: Covenant (R for violence, profanity, sexuality, nudity and bloody images) Sixth installment in the sci-fi franchise revolves around a spaceship crew which finds more than it bargained for when it lands on an uncharted planet from which it received radio signals. Ensemble cast includes Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Carmen Ejogo, Billy Crudup, Jussie Smollett and Danny McBride.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (PG for rude humor) Fourth installment in the franchise inspired by Jeff Kinney’s children’s book series features a new cast and finds the Heffley family embarking on a very eventful road trip to visit grandma on her 90th birthday. Co-starring Jason Drucker, Charlie Wright, Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott.

 

Everything, Everything (PG-13 for mature themes and brief sensuality) An enchanting, if bittersweet, bildungsroman about the love which blossoms between a sickly girl (Amandla Stenberg) growing up in an antiseptic bubble and the chivalrous Prince Charming (Nick Robinson) who moves in next-door. With Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera and Taylor Hickson.

 

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (Unrated) Justice system exposé chronicling the five-year legal battle waged by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. against Abacus Federal Savings, the Asian-American community bank which was the only financial institution to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

 

Devil’s Domain (Unrated) Revenge horror flick about a victim (Madi Vodane) of cyber-bullying who makes a deal with the Devil to get even with her tormentors. Cast includes Michael Madsen, Linda Bella and Zack Kozlow.

 

Fight for Space (Unrated) Pro-NASA documentary advocating for a more ambitious U.S. space program. Featuring commentary by astronaut Jim Lovell, physicist Michio Kaku and Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

 

Legion of Brothers (Unrated) War on Terror documentary recounting the exploits of the Special Forces unit sent on a covert mission to Afghanistan to track down the Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders behind the 9/11 attacks.

 

The Survivalist (Unrated) Post-apocalyptic thriller, set in the wake of the collapse of civilization due to the exhaustion of petroleum, about a nomad (Martin McCann) whose tiny farm hidden deep in the woods is discovered by a couple of starving women (Mia Goth and Olwen Fouere). Featuring Andrew Simpson, Douglas Russell and Kieri Kennedy.

 

Wakefield (R for profanity and some sexuality) Midlife crisis drama about a burnt out attorney (Bryan Cranston) who hides in the attic from his family and the rest of the world after suffering a nervous breakdown. With Jennifer Garner, Beverly D’Angelo, Victoria Bruno, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Ellery Sprayberry.

 

The Woman Who Left (Unrated) “Hell hath no fury” thriller revolving around a recently-exonerated inmate (Charo Santos-Concio) who hatches a plan to exact revenge on her ex-lover (Michael De Mesa) after spending 30 years behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit. Supporting cast includes Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, John Lloyd Cruz and Mae Paner. (In Filipino with subtitles)

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