Movie Review: Identity Thief
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:02
Think Megan from “Bridesmaids,” as socially inappropriate as ever, with curly hair and a fraudulent nature, and you have Diana (Melissa McCarthy), the star of “Identity Thief.” As she did in “Bridesmaids,” McCarthy steals the show in this role with her goofy expressions and ability to push comedic limits.
In the film, Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) seems to have everything under control. He earns a new job with a higher salary and has a charming family life with his wife (Amanda Peet), two young daughters and another child on the way. Matters start to go awry when Patterson’s credit card is declined, and soon after, he is arrested for public intoxication and assault–crimes he did not commit. Patterson learns his identity has been stolen (as if you did not see that coming when Patterson gives his social security number to Diana over the phone within the first few minutes of the film, or from the movie title itself). The criminal accusations put Patterson’s job in jeopardy, which motivates him to venture to Florida in order catch Diana and regain his identity. This part of the film, you have already seen in the previews. Almost every one liner said in the initial meetings between Patterson and Diana was used in the film’s trailers, making this section of the plot underwhelming as a viewer. I knew exactly what was going to happen next. This included the car chase between Patterson and Diana, a wrestling fist fight (which she handily dominated) and a break-in by two unconvincing hit men, one of whom is played by rapper T.I. These aspects of the film probably could have been cut down.
Patterson finally convinces Diana to come back to his home in Colorado to help him get his job back without involving the police. She agrees, but the mishaps do not end there. They run out of money, have altercations with Diana’s assassins and even have an unfortunate camping incident involving a snake. Diana convinces Patterson to steal money from his old boss, leading to their arrest, yet another car chase sequence and a close run-in with her hit men and the cops.
The downside of this film, aside from the incessant car chases, comes from an underwhelming performance from Bateman, who adds little comedic value to the film. Despite only having a small part in the film, Big Chuck (Eric Stonestreet) will leave audiences in stitches. And for anyone who has seen the film, Diana and Big Chuck’s provocative (and slightly-scarring) bar dance and raunchy interactions will not be soon forgotten.