Identity Thief Reviews
Right off the bat, this film is basically a cross between Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and (I presume) Midnight Run. For really dumb reasons, Sandy has to bring Diana back to Denver himself, and within 5 days, as the cops apparently aren't able to.
I love road trip movies, but this is just awful. It's not funny, overlong, has a plot that really doesn't work, and tries to have a sappy, heartfelt ending that also fails to work.
I think the only thing I really was amused by was the fact that McCarthy's character has a habit of punching people in the throat. Unfortunately she does this multiple times, so it starts to lose it's humor after a while.
I really love this cast. I mean there's Jason Bateman as Sandy, Melissa McCarthy as Diana, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Jon Fsvreau, and Robert Patrick among others in various roles, but unfortunately none of them are able to save this. I really wish we got more of Patrick as the skip tracer. He was awesome, and, along with the throat punching, the only reason I forced myself to sit through the while thing.
This is an unfunny film that is quite obnoxious at times. The character of Diana is rather schizophrenic at times with how she constantly shifts between trying to grow and change as a person, and being a shocking loathsome and irresponsible consumer who doesn't care about the damage she's causing. Which makes me really not care about the ending, as it feels too forced and quite false.
All in all, this really is a piece of crap. I was hoping it might have been better than people said, but no, it really does suck. AVOID.
The Plot: This movie lays out the improbable (even for a comedy) set-up of a man in Colorado named Sandy Patterson (funny name to give a man, huh? Well, I guess it's funny the first few times this joke is told) played by the very much underrated Jason Bateman, who gets his identity stolen by a woman in Florida, played by Melissa McCarthy. After the police outright refuse to help him, Sandy sets out on a quest of sorts to Florida in order to bring McCarthy's character back to Colorado himself (basically doing the police's job for them) so that she may stand trial for her crimes. Hilarious! Now, when Bateman and McCarthy find themselves in a road trip situation (about 30 minutes in) it is only then that Gordon seems to let these two very funny comedic actors run wild and "Identity Thief" begins to see comedic moments that actually work. In saying that, as I stated before, aside from all of the funny scenes that the trailers had to offer, and one laugh out loud sex scene (that of which occurs in the unevenly entertaining middle portion of this film) "Identity Thief" is bookended and sporadically injected with more unfunny and contrived moments, which consistently work to drag this movie back down into the still waters of mediocrity time and time again. Furthermore, while the beginning is slow and shockingly sigh inducing, the ending's ineffectiveness clearly notifies audiences about how flawed Gordon's visual storytelling abilities are in this instance. OK, so to avoid ruining this very predictable ending, I'll simply put it like this: There was not one moment throughout this film where I did NOT want to see McCarthy's character end up in prison. Call me heartless if you must.
The Acting: OK, while Gordon does attempt to mask how weak this plot is by allowing Bateman to make some funny faces and come through with some snide monotone zingers, as well as allow McCarthy to pursue an Olympic trial's worth of physical comedy, in all actuality the rest of this supporting cast is absolutely worthless. In fact, let's (for a second) run down the list of notable actors who are wasted in this movie: Jon Favreau is only in one scene; wasted, Robert Patrick plays a forgettable bounty hunter; wasted, John Cho is given half of a funny line to say in a 90 minute movie; wasted, T.I. gives one of the more worthless cameos in recent years; wasted, Amanda Peet is such a non-character here that I almost forgot that she was in this movie; hence, she's wasted, Genesis Rodriquez has nice eyebrows, but all in all she's wasted, and Eric Stonestreet...well, he's actually pretty funny in his one scene with McCarthy.
Final Thought: While "Identity Thief" does contain pockets of funny, not even Bateman or McCarthy flailing about can help this film fully recover from its own flimsy premise, implausible actions and a failed ploy by the director to display any sort of sympathy for Melissa McCarthy's character. So, at the end of the day, it is not the two leads that let this movie down, it is the material itself, which unfortunately causes "Identity Thief" to be a rental recommendation at best. 2 1/2 Stars 7-25-13
But Melissa McCarthy sure is hilarious and she squeezes laughs out of every possible line even if there's not much to squeeze, and Jason Bateman has a well-deserved patent on the exasperated straight man role - they both salvage "Identity Thief" from being a disaster. For all we know the movie could have been the two of them meeting on a park bench and bantering in their unique styles and we would have gotten just as many laughs.
Unoriginal, predictable and messy, "Identity Thief" stole 2 hours from my life.
It's funny and harmless enough but there's just something wrong with a movie this lazy making it to the big screen through the whole production process.
Nice comedic movie! The premise is a recycled one, but is done in a fresh way. While watching, you don't get the "I've seen this before" feeling while watching it. There are plenty of laughs delivered by the hilarious two leading characters. The supporting characters actually are the only disappointments. They seem quite dry with their dialog being rushed and less integral to the humor of the movie. They are more side notes to keep the story rolling, but they do not slow the movie down. The movie is a good time out and not a waste of money if you paid for tickets. It doesn't break the mold, but it does stand up as a movie you will enjoy.
Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) gets a nice call confirming his name and other identifying information. The next thing he knows, a spa in Florida is reminding him of his appointment, and his credit cards are maxed out. With his identity stolen, Sandy leaves his wife, kids and job to literally bring the thief to justice in Colorado. But keeping tabs on the other Sandy (Melissa McCarthy) and run-ins with bounty hunters, is harder than he was expecting, and ultimately the cross-country trip is going to find both Sandys learning life tips from one another.
This is one of those films that just didn't sit well with me, the whole idea made me feel uncomfortable right from the start. This bloke has a nice happy family life which is brought to ruins by some fat binge drinking female who you just wanna smack in the face. Now I realise the director probably wants you to hate this thief character but it doesn't work, at no point in the film did I like her or feel for her, even when you're clearly suppose to with the sappy friendship that builds during the film and the obvious fluffy ending.
The whole time I'm watching all I could think of was what I'd do in that situation, if this happened to me, I sure as hell wouldn't team up with the woman and do what Bateman's character does, screw that!. The film is kinda annoying and just gave me constant nasty thoughts for McCarthy's thief character and how I'd kill her if it was me. On top of that she isn't in the least bit funny, neither is Bateman, the whole road trip pairing is really laboured and doesn't gel and nothing much happens throughout the film which is funny either.
The whole film is just about screwing people over with the added obligatory car chase and obligatory nasty criminals trying to kill the main duo, there isn't even much point in that sub plot. What's so stupid about this is the fact that at the start of the film Bateman's character discovers what's happened to him and eventually gets backed up by the police, yet his boss still says he gonna fire him for shit that's been proved wasn't him!! huh?.
Even the police detective doesn't fully believe he's innocent for gods sake! despite the fact its pretty clear identity fraud has been committed. That's like your bank calling you saying you've had suspicious activity on your account, you confirm the activity wasn't you but the bank doesn't believe you!. So no one at the start of the film basically believes Bateman's character is innocent, clearly he's done everything and no one believes in fraud. So to clear himself he goes off on this ridiculous road trip to find the culprit and bring her to justice! yeah like you'd do that, makes no sense whatsoever.
Literately nothing to recommend here, nothing funny about any of it, over worked, overly stretched, forced, awkward to watch with no redeeming qualities. Its like a wannabe 'Planes Trains and Automobiles' type vehicle but fails badly on every front. End of the day what is funny about something like identity fraud?!.
If McCarthy had been allowed to direct herself, I'm sure "Identity Thief" would have been vastly better.