Movie Review: Identity Thief (2013)

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Comedy

identity thief

Uber responsible husband and father Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) has his identity stolen by a lady named Julia, (Melissa McCarthy) who is spending Sandy’s money all over Florida.  Sandy lives in Denver Colorado, and can’t figure out how are these charges from Florida got on his credit card.  Denver cop Detective Reilly (Morris Chestnut) can’t do anything, because Julia is in Florida.  Sandy needs his credit cleared up because he just started a new business and wants to impress his new boss, Daniel Casey, (John Cho)  so Sandy goes to Florida to try to find Julia.  He is not the only person trying to track down Julia, two criminals named Julian (T.I) and Marisol (Genesis Rodriguez) and a skiptracer (Robert Patrick) are on Julia’s trail for selling them bad credit cards.  Who will find Julia first, Sandy or the criminals?

Instead of telling you how bad Identity Thief is, let me describe how cringe worthy the following scenes are.  Julia engages in dirty dancing with Big Chuck, a cowboy badly played by Eric Stonestreet, Julia having a noisy lovemaking session with the aforementioned Big Chuck, Julia getting into a slap fight with Sandy Patterson, and Julia singing “Milkshake” to Sandy, as they camp out for the night.  If that doesn’t put you off solid food for a week, the genres attempted in this movie are similarly nauseating. This movie starts off as some kind of road trip movie, then turns into a bad tearkerker, then a bad action flick, and finally some kind of buddy movie.  None of it works.  Oh yes, and how about some nasty little stereotypes to go with a lousy script?  Of course the Latina girl and the black guy are criminals, aren’t all black people and Latinos criminals?

I like Melissa McCarthy.  I liked her in Bridesmaids a lot.  That character had a lot of depth to her.  This character just comes off as mean spirited and no one I would want to spend a minute with, never mind two hours.  McCarthy has to be careful that she realizes the difference between people laughing with her and people laughing at her, she tries to throw some ad-libs in, but it doesn’t really work, because her character is so unlikeable.  It doesn’t help that she looks like a cross between Tammy Faye Bakker and the character Mimi from the Drew Carey show in this movie.  I like Jason Bateman, most recently in Horrible Bosses, he’s playing essentially the same character as he did in Horrible Bosses, hard-working, honest guy who gets screwed over, but Identity Thief has none of the cleverness of Horrible Bosses, and the cast of Horrible Bosses is much better.  Also, I think Jason Bateman is much better as part of an ensemble cast, he tried to carry this movie and just couldn’t.

This movie is much too long, I just kept staring at the screen, and the time didn’t seem to move.  A comedy movie should never be over an hour and a half, and this movie breaks that rule in a big way, and for no good reason, the last half hour is no better than the first 90 minutes and includes a schmaltzy ending.  For the length and the ending, I blame the writer, for the horribly slow pacing I blame the director.

Identity Thief.  Stole two hours of my life.


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