This Weekend’s Blockbusters, ‘Snatched’ And ‘King Arthur,’ Are Already Off To A Bad Start

We’re two weeks in, and summer blockbuster season is already a journey. Case in point: One week you get “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the next you get “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” 

Because every weekend between the start of May and the end of August offers a hopeful box-office bonanza, not every movie can be an event. Which brings us to Friday’s wide releases, “King Arthur” and “Snatched.” Both would like to outpace “Guardians” as the largest moneymaker, but the reviews currently pouring in won’t help. This weekend’s forecasts expect “Guardians” to gross at least twice that of “Snatched” and “King Arthur.” 

On top of all that, Hollywood analysts are reportedly now expecting a steep dip in overall revenue this summer as audiences grow bored of relentless franchises and reboots. In keeping, it’s important for a film like “Snatched,” an original with two name-brand stars, to find an audience. Maybe the Mother’s Day crowd will help, but as of now, this seems to spell more bad news for mainsteam Hollywood trends.

Below are snippets of what critics are saying.

“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Charlie Hunnam plays the titular British hero in yet another King Arthur reboot. Directed by Guy Ritchie, “Legend of the Sword” turns the classic story of Excalibur, Camelot and Bedivere into bloated action fantasy. 

“The film rattles along exhilaratingly, if sometimes intermittently, like a fairground rollercoaster that occasionally stops and makes you get out and walk for a few minutes before letting you back on.” ― Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Ritchie can barely muster any behind-the-camera enthusiasm for the high-fantasy elements; the special-effects-heavy sequences are as generic as they come, and incoherent to boot. His Camelot is a cheerless eyesore, a stone salt shaker on a mountain side.” ― Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The A.V. Club

“This wannabe epic is at once bloated and rushed, cramming in a mini-series worth of plot and characters into an unsatisfying and very confusing two hours and nine minutes.” ― Kristy Puchko, CBR

“From one moment to the next, it’s possible to on some level enjoy the shaking up of tired conventions in a swordplay fantasy such as this and then to be dismayed by the lowbrow vulgarity of what’s ended up onscreen. The film gives with one hand and takes away with the other, which can be frustrating in what’s meant to be entertainment.” ― Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Why bother to create a dutifully colorful cast of characters, with all those colorful names, if you’re going to do such shockingly little with them? (You’d think that a movie with a guy named Kung-Fu George in it would actually have some, y’know, kung fu.) There will be those who will hate ‘King Arthur’ on principle alone — for the liberties it takes and its amped-up blockbuster bluster. But the real problem is that Ritchie doesn’t go far enough with the reinvention. In trying to breathe new life into King Arthur, he and his writers merely make the story more predictable and derivative, more in line with any number of other recent action movies and fantasy epics.” ― Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice

“It’s Perfectly Fine™; entirely competent but unexceptional in just about every way. Unlike the original tales of King Arthur, which reverberated down through the centuries, this one evaporates from the mind within minutes.” ― Matt Singer, Screen Crush

“Somewhere in all of this there’s a good movie trying to get out. The impulse to reimagine the tale of Excalibur isn’t a bad one. There’s still a lot of narrative meat to gnaw on that drumstick (action, adventure, chivalry, etc.). But Hollywood only knows how to dream big right now, when the truth is, the best moments in this film are the smaller ones — the scheming and snap-crackle-pop wordplay among its gallery of medieval rogues. It’s the same franchise quicksand that Ritchie stepped into with his Sherlock Holmes reboot back in 2009, when mental gymnastics were upstaged by razzle-dazzle bare-knuckle brawls. Now he’s just sinking deeper.” ― Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly


Goldie Hawn’s first movie in 15 years, “Snatched” is a two-hander with Amy Schumer, who does her typical Amy Schumer shtick as an irresponsible, self-absorbed millennial. They play a mother and daughter who are kidnapped during their Ecuador vacation. The movie is directed by Jonathan Levine (”50/50,” “Warm Bodies”) and written by Katie Dippold (”The Heat,” “Ghostbusters”). 

“Though this movie ostensibly celebrates the spirit of adventure and openness to experience, it takes no risks and blazes no trails. It’s ultimately as complacent, self-absorbed and clueless as its heroine, and not always in an especially amusing way.” ― A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Lauded actress and boundary-busting comedian Goldie Hawn hasn’t appeared in a film in over a decade, let alone starred in one, so her return to the big screen should be considered a very big deal. Too bad that the Oscar-winning actress’ first project in 15 years isn’t just a misfire, but one that commits the unforgivable sin of not allowing Hawn to inhabit her stature as a great comedic performer.” ― Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“Emily’s first-world oblivion and Linda’s bad knees hardly bode well for survival, and the plot pitches and weaves like a drunk lemur. But as Snatched’s blonde-leading-the-blonde farce careens on, it stumbles into moments of deranged inspiration, lifted by loopy cameos (Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, a mute Joan Cusack) and Hawn’s dizzy, undiminished charisma.” ― Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“The film is exactly what you expect, which is not a rave or a pan but just a truth: Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are a mom and daughter who get kidnapped in South America. Hijinks ensue, many of which are funny. Some are not.” ― Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast

“What we get out of the ultimate product is a watered-down version of Schumer’s shtick, well-known from her Comedy Central show and stand-up, and Hawn looking completely out of place the entire time.” ― Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider

“’Snatched,’ more about victimhood than women running their own show, is funny here and there, but in ways that make the bulk of the formulaic material all the more frustrating.” ― Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“The film doesn’t attempt to invent the wheel so much as provide a solid foundation on which to play out a female-centric comedic caper that is less focused on romance and more on family bonding. It’s rude, crude and earns its R-rating, but it’s anchored in a cheerful goofiness that pokes fun at its own premise while making sure to note that its specific plot doesn’t intend to impugn an entire people.” ― Scott Mendelson, Forbes

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