Identity Thief (2013)

Identity Thief Poster.jpgShould've been renamed Time Thief

Mild-mannered businessman Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) travels from Denver to Miami to confront Diane (Melissa McCarthy), the deceptively harmless-looking woman who has been living it up after stealing Sandy's identity.

The threat of having your identity stolen is one that has been prevalent for quite some time, especially with the rise in the use of technology such as credit cards and online banking. A topic like this seems like it would be suited for a thriller or a drama, so the idea of it being used for comedic value is, erm, different.

Jason Bateman plays the typical straight man that he's always played since his days on Arrested Development, while Melissa McCarthy is just as typecast, playing the same character she's played since her break-out role in Bridesmaids, but with little variety between the performances. While none of the cast give a performance which would be deemed as bad, there's also nothing worth taking the time to praise.

Logic is presented here to be as mythical a being as the Pegasus, never appearing no matter how much you believe in it. Both Detective Reilly (Morris Chestnut) and Sandy's boss (John Cho) know the predicament Sandy is in, yet the latter threatens Sandy's job while the Detective refuses to do anything to help this innocent man and prevent a criminal from continuing to break the law.

While it's no surprise that Sandy becomes friends with his initial antagonist, Diane, what does surprise is how many character appear merely as obstacles to propel the plot along. Sandy's boss gives him a race against the clock speech for him to get Diane or he'll lose his job, sending him on his trip, where he encounters a thug duo (T.I and Génesis Rodríguez) who want to kill Diane and a bounty hunter named Skiptracer (Robert Patrick) hunting Diane also, all the while Sandy's old boss (Jon Favreau) is lurking in the background. It's as if nobody learnt from Spider-Man 3.

Crap, she's read my review!

Poor attempts are made at humor, regularly overusing the same gags and going for the simplest of attempts that'll elicit more sighs than laughs. An example of this is how Melissa McCarthy steals Jason Batemans car keys and runs off from him for the second time, only while also giving him the middle finger.

Attempts are made at characterizing Diane and giving reasons for her choosing her criminal lifestyle, but it feels less like an attempt to actually get to know and understand Melissa McCarthy's character and more like  something added to fill the 110 minute run-time, feeling no less than eye-rollingly contrived.

Jason Bateman & Melissa McCarthys performances cannot compensate for Identity Thief's poor script, which is the source of a severe lack of logic, an unfocused plot, messy characterization and completely unfunny jokes. That's hardly a surprise though, considering it was from the writer of Scary Movie 3 and 4.


Ruth said…
...I thought this looked absolutely idiotic when I saw the trailer, haha. Good review!
James Rodrigues said…
Cheers for reading, Ruth