Premise: High end accountant Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), who is such a financial expert that he gives his social security and credit card numbers to a stranger on the phone in the first scene of the movie, becomes a victim of identity theft. Since it tends to look bad when an expert on finance has a terrible credit rating, he must go find the woman and get her to confess in order to save his money/job/good name. Then it turns into a crappy road trip movie.
-Luckily the world isn’t burnt out on Melissa McCarthy yet, because she’s pretty funny in this movie. I imagine in two or three years we will all hate her because of overexposure, but for now she’s still considered a comic force. And a financially rewarding one at that, pulling in over $50 million in two weeks.
-It’s rated R for I think just language, and it is nice to have vulgarity sprinkled in every once in a while. It didn’t feel like they overdid it.
-I was entertained throughout, but it was more of an amusing half smile kind of movie, as opposed to all out laughter. However, we went to see it on a weekday night, and it was nearly sold out and the rest of the audience loved the crap out of this movie. Especially the (possibly drunk and/or high) woman sitting two seats away from me, who was literally holding her stomach and falling forward laughing at nearly every joke. I guess it has a dumb, broad appeal to it that I may not have been in to, but everyone else seemed to be.
-Mike Ehrmantraut cameo!
-They really try and force some emotion on you near the end. They try WAY too hard. And I didn’t buy it. In fact the whole relationship between Sandy and his identity thief doesn’t really make sense. She stole a ton of his money, got him brought up on criminal charges, almost made him lose his job and ruin his life, then they go on a road trip in which she ruins his car and gets him shot at by gangsters, BUT she tells a sappy story at the end and all of the sudden he considers her a friend? As terrible a character as Melissa McCarthy’s was, Jason Bateman’s Sandy was drastically more flawed. I would have liked the movie a lot more if they went on their big journey, she laid on the sympathy, then when he got back to his hometown, he cold-heartedly just called the police on her and sent her to prison with a sinister grin.
-I think the film has a mixed message. The character everyone likes (McCarthy) is absolutely the bad guy. However, the good guy (Bateman) is portrayed as a boring, stern, buzzkill of a man. You weren’t suppose to like him. But you were supposed to love the wacky identity thief! “Hahaha, she’s so quirky and funny! The way she ruins people’s lives! Ohhhh, the guy whose money she stole is talking again… BOOOOOOO!” I was rooting for Jason Bateman the entire movie, just saying.
-On the subject of Mr. Bateman… this marks probably the 15th time he’s played the overworked white collar boring guy that terrible things always happen to. Remember when he played that drugged out ESPN 8 announcer in Dodgeball: an Underdog Story? I wish he would do more things like that.
-The “real villains” were terrible. I guess they were like the villains chasing the villain? Anyway, one of them was played by the rapper T.I. (because I guess anyone else was unavailable?), and I think maybe they attempted two jokes, and those two jokes fell flat. They were overly serious people in a zany comedy. Things like giving them numerous scenes of unfunny content is the reason this movie ran almost two hours and felt way too long.
Final Thoughts: Identity Thief is quite the forgettable comedy. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it. You’ll probably just chuckle brainlessly like you would any other comedy similar to it. Then in a few days you’ll forget you even saw it. I don’t think I could even tell you the funniest joke from the movie. I simply can’t remember what it would be. It wasn’t the fat jokes, or the nut shots, or the loud hotel sex, or the campfire scene where Sandy gets bit by a poisonous snake, or any of the other jokes that are in EVERY OTHER TERRIBLE ROAD TRIP COMEDY EVER MADE. I don’t know because I saw Identity Thief a week ago and I already forgot. That’s the kind of movie it is.
5.5 out of 10