MOVIE REVIEW: Identity Thief

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By Dustin Heller

Identity Thief is the new comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.  The movie is directed by Seth Gordon, who directed other such comedies as Four Christmases and Horrible Bosses, and was written by the same guy that wrote The Hangover II and III.  Aside from the two leads, the movie also stars Amanda Peet, John Cho, John Favreau, and rapper T.I.

Everything seems to be looking up for family man Sandy Patterson (Bateman), he is finally getting out of his ho-hum job and has just been hired as the vice president of a new company.  That is, until his identity is stolen in Florida and he now has a criminal record and is being questioned by police.  In order to save his job and prove his good name, he must fly from Denver to Florida and bring back the identity thief.  The person pretending to be Sandy is actually a woman named Diana (McCarthy).  The problem is that Sandy isn’t the only one after her as she has been stealing identities her entire life.  Once Sandy has Diana in his possession, they hit the road to Denver and hi-jinks ensue.

There are definitely some laughs to be had in Identity Thief.  Bateman and McCarthy are both very funny and they really played well off each other.  Most will recognize McCarthy from her breakout role in the hit Bridesmaids which has made her one of the most sought after comedic actresses working.  The downside of the movie is the fact that the entire premise is ridiculously unrealistic, which personally I had a hard time moving past.  At one point a semi-truck slams into a car on the highway in broad daylight almost like it was at a monster truck show with no explanation.  I also think the movie had a hard time finding its identity.  It’s no doubt a comedy, but there are some solemn moments that definitely tug at the heart and bring down the vibe.  I’m not sure it necessarily gelled together all that well.  Aside from the two leads, the rest of cast is pretty dreadful.  I’m not sure why anyone would hire the rapper T.I. for an acting gig, he was terrible.  If comedy is your thing, then Identity Thief is probably worth the trip to the theater.  For me, it is nothing more than a rental.

Identity Thief opens in theaters on Friday, February 8.

Grade:  C+

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