Identity Thief

By: Jill Odom

“Identity Thief” dull and pointless, nothing funny about it.

While “Identity Thief” held great promise— from the two lead actors Jason Bateman (“Horrible Bosses”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”) to the hilarious trailer—all the movie’s gems were used in the trailer. Sadly, there are only a couple more jokes to speak of, and those won’t cause anyone to laugh out loud like a comedy is supposed to.

The movie gets a meager four stars out of 10. Majority of the film is utterly pointless and doesn’t seem to follow any form of a plotline. Do not waste time going to see this movie. Any comedic scenes are dependent on McCarthy to deliver, and even her jokes are either raunchy or slapstick.

The story starts out with schmuck Sandy Patterson, who gives out his personal information over the phone to a chipper con artist, Diana. She tricked him by telling him that someone was trying to steal his identity.  Later, after Diana has maxed out his credit cards, Sandy is arrested for a court date he missed in Florida and sets his hunt for her in motion.

The first part of the film is actually a downer. It’s depressing to see how hard Patterson works to support his family and make ends meet while being underappreciated at work, and then he suddenly has his world destroyed due to Diana’s mischievous actions in Florida. Humor only starts to appear in sparks and sputters around the second half because of McCarthy’s character’s behavior.

Diana, who is a chronic liar and a frequent identity thief, is unapologetic for her actions and is quite belligerent towards Patterson, who is merely trying to get his name cleared. She is gaudy and obnoxious, with make up like a brightly colored peacock. Despite her felonious actions, it is obvious that all she wants is to be genuinely loved and cared for.  If that means keeping an open tab at a bar to have friends for that night, then that is what she is will do.

More people than Patterson are chasing Diana. On one hand she has two members of a drug dealing gang—who look like they belong in “Fast Five”— trying to kill her for selling them used credit cards. On the other there is a redneck debt collector/bounty hunter who bears a resemblance to those on “Duck Dynasty”.  The film randomly cuts away to the two groups pursuing Diana, but neither really adds anything to the story.

The second half of the film seems to be a horrible attempt at trying to copy “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” as Patterson and Diana have to find various kinds of transportation in their attempt to get Diana to Denver within a week so he can save his job. None of their escapades are that amusing. The viewers will be more likely to sit there in a bored stupor, wondering how much longer the movie has and if there will ever be something funny that they hadn’t already seen in trailers.

Patterson is very bland and by the book type of guy. He is unsympathetic towards Diana’s whining, and, even when the audience has come to see that under her tough criminal shell that she is really a big softie who just wants a little attention, he still doesn’t grasp it until almost the very end of the film.

The two actors do have some good witty banter from time to time but, mostly, the movie is about the never ending road trip and all the awkward stops along the way.

It is simply disappointing that a movie with two great actors failed so miserably. While they try to tack on a feel good end to it, the story has no meaning or value to it. It seems that Seth Gordon hit and missed on this one, and he didn’t get the memo on it being a comedy either.

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