Spinning into the foreground of the comedy scene with a rib-tickling supporting performance in 2011’s Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy’s series of knock on roles begins as the fraudulent Diana in Identity Thief.
Spinning into the
foreground of the comedy scene with a rib-tickling supporting performance in
2011’s Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy’s series of knock on roles
begins as the fraudulent Diana in Identity Thief.
Directed by Horrible
Bosses’ Seth Gordon, Diana’s world collides with one of her victims, played
by a relentlessly nice Jason Bateman,
as he tries to retrieve his credibility and his job following her weighty
spending spree carried out at his expense.
Sticking to a formula found more recently in films like Due Date, the odd pair must drive
resentfully from Florida to Denver to clear the name of Bateman’s Sandy and help Diana escape a couple of shady accomplices
that she’s double-crossed. Catastrophic events ensue, with expected smattering
of minor explosions, heavy drinking and hilarious dancefloor antics. Sandy’s
harmless disposition (when he’s not openly attacking Diana) paired with his
thief’s foul mouth and boisterous attitude mostly make for pleasant viewing as
they bicker and barter across the States, with a handful of “Oh it’s xxx from
that US comedy” cameos to keep events moving along.
Though the narrative is unmuddled, bar a bizarre and
pointless subplot involving bounty hunters, screenplay writer Craig Mazin, who holds two Scary Movies
and two Hangovers to his name sticks firmly within the caper movie box,
resulting in overly comfortable and occasionally bland scenarios with swearing,
cult references and slapstick carrying the weight of the film.
Its McCarthy’s timing coupled with her undeniable charm that
make Identity Thief’s enjoyable
moments. Switching from bolshie to vulnerable with ease, like Zach Galifianakis,
she’s found a winning combination and stuck to it, with upcoming cop comedy The Heat hinting there’s more of this
to come. Without her there would
be little of a movie to make; Bateman fills the shoes of the hard done by
family man but brings nothing else to the table and the plot alone is thin.
For fans of the Hangover franchise and its predecessors,
this will be a pleasing though not excellent, way to spend an evening. For
those expecting anything other than a 111 minutes of foreseeable mishaps and a
blatant ending perhaps steer clear.