Identity Thief, the latest film to join the long line of road trip-comedy flicks, takes a promising idea and unfortunately mashes it with over-complications and a clichéd climax, presenting a jumble of humor and sentiment that seem out of place. Despite the gaping holes, Identity Thief is a spectacle of star Melissa McCarthy’s (Bridesmaids) talent. Essentially, McCarthy steals the show with her effervescent charm and encapsulating smile that engenders pity for the fully-flawed personality of her character Diana.
Despite the gaping holes, Identity Thief is a spectacle of star Melissa McCarthy’s talent.
The story begins when Diana, a sneaky and devilish thief, snatches the identity of Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman, Arrested Development) via phone. With credit cards maxed out and with his newly found job on the line, Sandy goes on a quest from Denver to Florida to locate and turn in the fraudulent persona to the police in order to get his life back. The rest of the story revolves around Sandy and Diana’s practically slapstick-like journey through grim situations and reconciliations, in a desperate bid to fix both the past and the future.
As far as casting choices go, McCarthy is superb as the sweet yet villainous Diana. The actress shows her versatility as a performer, something that many of her previous films fail to capture. Her comic relief provides the right punch to the rather dull and uninteresting storyline. And nothing brought more laughter to the audience than her whimsical singing of “Milkshake.” In addition to her comedic timing, McCarthy nails her emotional scenes. One of the most dramatically tinged moments of the film comes when McCarthy’s character opens up to Sandy over the dinner table about her unfortunate past. Ultimately, McCarthy’s variety sells her as a respectable and multifarious Hollywood actress.
On other accounts, Jason Bateman plays Sandy Patterson, a character similar to his previous roles in Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up, quite effortlessly. Bateman sells his character, a steam-powered accountant and family man, in as convincing a way as possible.
As for the supporting cast, Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family brings some levity to the downward-spiraling humor. Additionally, Amanda Peet (Gulliver’s Travelers) shows off her beauty as Sandy’s wife. Though her screen time is relatively low, it is highly utilized in forming the emotionally climactic scenes.
Humor and sentiment are in slight play, but a poor plot, a dreadful storyline and a weak sub cast harm the movie as a whole.
All in all, Identity Thief is an average movie. It might garner some attention during opening weekend, but not much can be expected from this film despite its cast. Humor and sentiment are in slight play, but a poor plot, a dreadful storyline and a weak sub cast harm the movie as a whole.