Film: ‘Identity Thief’ Lets McCarthy Steal the Show

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
Identity Thief | Directed by Seth Gordon | Rated R
RATING: 3/5

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First Words

Thank goodness I never had the pleasure of getting my identity stolen.  If ever that did happen to me, the thief would be pretty upset with what I have to offer. But there are people out there that have had that situation happen to them. After watching Identity Thief, those people would probably say that their situations didn’t happen at all like anything in the film but they still can relate…in a way.

Plot

Denver resident Sandy Patterson’s (Jason Bateman) life takes a turn for the worse when he finds out that his identity is stolen by a woman in Florida named Diana (Melissa McCarthy). When Diana’s actions, under the identity of Sandy Patterson, put Sandy’s job in jeopardy, Sandy creates a plan with the police department to go down to Florida and bring her back to Denver. That way, he could keep his job and Diana would go to jail. Once Sandy gets down to Florida, he begins to realize that getting Diana back to Denver with him won’t be as easy as he thought.

Positives

When you see Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy at the top of the same billing, you can be assured that you’re in for plenty of laughs-and that is exactly what you get. The movie doesn’t begin to find its feet until the two stars get on screen together. Their chemistry works well together to create a fun and entertaining movie. They even get some help from a few other cast members. Eric Stonestreet, who has made a name for himself starring in the hit TV show Modern Family, tries to steal his time on screen as Big Chuck.

McCarthy, again, not only shows that she can be funny, but shows she act too. In the scenes where the humor takes a quick break, McCarthy is able to portray someone who has a caring heart and not just someone who goes around stealing identities without feeling any remorse. No wonder she was up for an Academy Award just last year.

Negatives

While Identity Thief is a funny and entertaining film, as you’re watching it, it feels like it could be more. I might be being nitpicky right now, but with this concept and with the stars this movie was able to get, it just seems like the movie didn’t hit its full potential.  Like I said previously, I was laughing throughout, but funny moments didn’t ever hit with a huge punch that left me holding my stomach because I’d been laughing so hard.

Identity Thief had a great idea but played out in a less pronounced way. The way Sandy gets his identity stolen and how his problem is handled by the police seems very unlikely to happen in the real world. Also, it seems like the plot makes it very obvious that it’s doing everything in its power to push the movie forward. By that I mean that every time tension in the story occurs, it’s dealt with very easily in way that seems very lazy. As an example, Diana and Sandy are being chased by people looking for Diana. Now while they are hot on their trail, the way that whole situation pans outs completely doesn’t live up to the build.

Last Words

It probably sounds like I can’t make up my mind on how this movie is, but let me just put it this way: Identity Thief is a funny movie that could have been funnier with a story that needs some touching up. The most important thing, in my opinion, is you will be entertained.

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