Review: Identity Thief

Identity Thief PosterWhen Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) finds his life crashing around him due to his identity being stolen, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Apparently if your identity is stolen there are only two options – let some incompetent police officers try to maybe solve your case in a year or so, or track down and convince the person who stole your identity to come across the country with you so they can give a full confession and save your career. I’ll give you one guess as to which of these unrealistic scenarios the comedy Identity Thief is about.

Sandy, whose name is the butt of many a weak sexist jokes throughout the movie, is off on a mission to drag identity thief Diana’s (Melissa McCarthy) big butt from Florida to Denver. (The movie goes there, why shouldn’t I?)

We’ve established that the movie is full of emasculation and fat jokes. It also releases a plethora of slapstick (not the good kind), animals gone bad, over-the-top villains who exist only as plot devices, and “ha, we’ll pull out the inappropriate line just as you think you’re getting a serious moment,” moments. Of which, about two work.

The story is the most generic, lifeless, road trip with two unlikely people to ever grace the big screen. I can only imagine that it languished around Hollywood for some time, just waiting for someone currently thought to be funny, but not too expensive, to be inserted into the screenplay.

Jason Bateman is a talented actor whose signature style is a hit or miss depending on the movie he’s in. Melissa McCarthy is very good at what she does – being the “lovable” inappropriate fat person. Put them together and almost all appeal either of them might have, vanishes. There were a couple funny moments at the beginning of the movie, before the two were on screen together. That’s about it. I chuckled once, and smiled bemusedly three times during the overly long two hour movie.

There are absolutely no points in the movie that it surprises you. Everything happens on cue, following the most cookie-cutter approach to the many-time rehashed story line as possible. It relies on its stars to be funny enough that you don’t notice, but that’s mission impossible here.

One caveat – I did hear a half decent amount of laughter throughout the theater, so there must be something about this drivel that other people find funny – I was just not seeing it.

My Rating: 1 out of 5 hats

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Mrs. Hamster Says:

“This was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. People need to start realizing that Melissa McCarthy is not funny – at all.”

Trailer:

Identity Thief opens in over 3,000 theaters, Feb. 8