Movie Snatched(2017)

Premiere Movies (pay TV), 6.55pm

Goldie Hawn, right, and Amy Schumer in a scene from Snatched.

Photo: Justina Mintz/20th Century Fox via AP

Snatched is an all too familiar comic misadventure that indulges a slew of stereotypes without the benefit of making you look anew at them. Worse, it takes Amy Schumer's boisterous and revelatory comic persona and flattens it out. Her Emily Middleton is a party girl whose romantic setback led to her taking her overbearing mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) on a holiday to Ecuador she had planned with her ex-boyfriend. There, with the contrivance of screenwriter Katie Dippold (the Ghostbusters remake) and director Jonathan Levine (The Night Before), they fall into the hands of vaguely threatening and seriously swarthy criminals. Much of the movie unfolds as you would expect it to, and it unfortunately manages to make little use of Hawn, a skilled comedienne appearing in her first feature since 2002's The Banger Sisters. The louder the pair's reaction shots get, the more listless the movie becomes. CM

Instinct (premiere)

Ten, 8.30pm


What a disappointment. The first series to feature the multi-talented Alan Cumming in a lead role suffers from lamentable clumsiness and an awful case of overkill. Cumming, who was a standout as political player Eli Gold in The Good Wife, stars as academic and celebrated author Dr Dylan Reinhart. A natty dresser who's invariably the smartest guy in the room, Dr Dylan is also a gay protagonist with a colourful – and, frankly, unbelievable – past that turns out to be a great asset in crime-solving. When his book about psychopathic behaviour becomes central to a case involving a serial killer, his services are summoned by NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic). The pair quickly unites to form one of those whip-smart, fast-talking odd-couple duos beloved by TV series. Unfortunately, the pilot is smug and formulaic. DE


History (pay TV), 8.30pm

Tonight's feature-length instalment of this impressive documentary series charts the rise and fall of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The story is a familiar one – ambitious, ultra-violent bit player carves himself a bloody path to the top – but the scale and cruelty of the violence that Guzman and his rivals unleashed on Mexico is hard to comprehend, despite the documentary's judicious use of bloody file photos and footage. Former US Drug Enforcement Agency deputy director Jack Riley and a veritable newsroom full of Mexican journalists trace the story all the way back before Guzman's rise, to the 1985 torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Not even Guzman's capture in 2016 made for a happy ending – the vacuum he left doubled the murder rate in his home state of Sinaloa. Essential companion viewing for anyone watching the enthralling Netflix drama El Chapo. BN

Untold Australia: Lebanese Beauty Queens

SBS, 8.35pm

SBS's documentary series returns for a third season and adroitly fulfills its brief of illuminating aspects of the country that might not be widely known. The opener in this four-film season focuses on "the most controversial beauty pageant in Australia", the Miss Lebanon Australia contest. Writer, producer and director Janine Hosking follows the 2017 competition, covering the five-week boot camp where contestants are drilled in elocution, attaining the perfect bikini body and mastering the pageant strut. Shot in Sydney's western suburbs, the film probes the ways in which Lebanese ideas of beauty differ from local preferences, the reasons why some young women enter the contest and how their families feel about their participation. It also considers persistent rumours of the pageant being rigged. Narrated by Susie Porter, it's an entertaining and eye-opening study. DE

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