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Identity Thief

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: When kindly businessman Sandy Patterson (Bateman) finds he’s been the victim of identity theft, he heads to Miami to track down the woman (McCarthy) who’s been stealing his cash and kudos.
Release Date: 15th July 2013
Format: DVD / Blu-ray
Director(s): Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 111 mins
Country Of Origin: USA
Genre:
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
2/ 5


 

Bottom Line


Identity Thief ends up just plain, strained and on comic autopilot.


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Posted July 8, 2013 by

 
Film Review
 
 

On the surface it appears all the ingredients for a ripe comedy are present in Seth ‘Horrible Bosses’ Gordon’s new comedy Identity Thief. Jason Bateman, pre-Arrested Development return and Bridesmaid’s finest Melissa McCarthy in a fun road trip – what’s not to like about this film’s particular identity?

Especially when Bateman’s playing to type as the ever patient everyman Sandy Patterson who finds out he has a much less conservative and far more reckless namesake in the form of Miami’s McCathy, who’s stolen his identity and enjoying maxing out his cards. Cue all sorts of mayhem as Bateman heads out to Florida to return her to Denver and face justice.

So, essentially Identity Thief’s premise feels more akin to Todd Phillip’s recent offering Due Date rather than the late ‘80s classics it might prefer comparisons with. That’s not bad thing of course, with that film being an unexpected pleasure, especially when you consider how poor The Hangover franchise ended up, and while Identity Thief certainly lacks originality, that star power surely has enough to generate plenty of laughs, doesn’t it?

Sadly not so. Although there’s the odd titter to be found in some of Bateman’s reactions to McCarthy’s increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior – a night time motel encounter being an early highlight – too often the film resorts to contrivances to move the plot forward. An unnecessary sub plot involving bounty hunters and gang lords doesn’t help either.

All of which means that, though both Bateman and McCarthy are clearly giving their all, they’re not helped by Craig Mazin’s tired script which leaves plot points unexplained (snakes?!) and events sadly laugh-free at times, meaning that despite comparisons with the John Candy/Steve Martin classic Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Identity Thief ends up just plain, strained and on comic autopilot.


Dan Clay

 


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