Even with all its shortcomings and sentimental fudges, there is something about McCarthy's refusal to lie down and play the victim that gives it a comic edge. A blunt edge, to be sure, but an edge all the same.
Thanks to McCarthy's abundant comic gifts and those of her equally ill-served straight man Jason Bateman, Identity Thief doesn't leave nearly as icky a taste as it could have, but Gordon only taps into a fraction of his actors' potential.
As is the case with other unsatisfactory diversions, it is entirely possible to ignore the worst parts of this movie, to drift along during the lulls, slide over the half-baked jokes and just wait for Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Bateman to do their things.
Electronic identity theft offers a host of new possibilities, and to have almost none of them explored by writer Craig Mazin and director Seth Gordon in this uninspired trudge of a road movie is the biggest waste of all.
What success the movie finds is due to the leads' efforts, which are impressively strenuous. They start out with a great premise, and they're clearly ready to run with it. But most of the laughs are stolen right out from under them.