Unfortunately, this review is not a video as I had previously planned it to be. Videos will resume next week. Thank you for your patience.
Identity Thief is the latest film from director Seth Gordon, who directed the absolutely hilarious revenge comedy Horrible Bosses. Long story short, Melissa McCarthy plays an extremely, EXTREMELY annoying woman (supposedly named Diana) that steals the identity of Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman). As a result, Sandy’s life takes a sudden major downhill turn, including being arrested multiple times. In order to clear his good name with the local police, Sandy tracks down the identity thief to bring her back and trick her into a confession.
So with the man behind Horrible Bosses taking the helm of this movie, it’s sure to be a hilarious smash hit, right? Well…not exactly. It’s funny and an enjoyable comedy, but there’s no contest between the two. While Horrible Bosses had lots of strong laughs and little to no flubbed jokes, Identity Thief had a major issue with jokes falling flat and overly annoying characters. The most annoying of these being Diana (especially in the beginning), which is unfortunate considering she’s a main character.
The strongest comedic moments of Identity Thief always have Bateman involved, who essentially plays the same character as he does in Horrible Bosses and Arrested Development. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; I mean if he’s going to be typecast as an actor, at least he’s one of the best typecast actors in the business. It may just be how her character was written, but scenes that rely on Diana’s comedic execution almost always fall flat…especially when Sandy is nowhere to be found.
One thing that Identity Thief has over Horrible Bosses is that it has a much stronger emotional core. As annoying as she is, Diana eventually shows a real human side that we can finally identify with (assuming you can stand her at all by that point). On top of that, Sandy’s family (including his wife Trish played by Amanda Peet) is absolutely adorable and you can’t help but love them.
In the end, Identity Thief is a good comedy with heart that had the potential to be great like Seth Gordon’s previous film, but is held back by too many inconsistent laughs and an extremely annoying co-lead character. Is it so horrible that it deserves to be slammed by critics and receive a 24% on RottenTomatoes.com? Absolutely not.
I give Identity Thief: 3/5
It’s certainly worth your money as a matinee or DVD/Blu-ray rental if you love comedies, but I can’t say it’s a “must-see”.
I’m Papa Kenn, and I’ll see you next time for my review of Side Effects!
Director: Seth Gordon
Writers: Craig Mazin, Jerry Eeten
Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, John Cho
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