Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from the movie Identity Thief.
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from the movie Identity Thief. Bob Mahoney - Contributed by UPI media website

Movie review: Identity Thief

IF Identity Thief was the comedic film version of a fake ID, it would not get passed the front door.

It would be refused on the grounds of witless execution, a script that struggles for laughs and plot so riddled with stupidity it makes the Scary Movie franchise looks like high-class humour.

The premise that underpins the film is clever, mild-mannered family man Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman) has his credit ripped off and his life just about ruined by the destructive force that is con woman Diana (Melissa McCarthy).

To get his life back he tracks her down and the film takes the path of a road trip comedy.

Good idea in theory and with the comedic power horses that are Bateman and McCarthy at the helm this should have been a dynamite comedy.

Instead it is limp, haphazard, and poorly executed. Chuck in abrupt shifts of tone, clunky crime subplots and ludicrously unnecessary car chases and it's a disaster.

It's not Bateman or McCarthy's fault, the leads do their best but with a script so starving for laughs it just feels cringe-worthy and embarrassing.

The plot runs out of steam three-quarters of the way through and limps to the closing credits like an injured marathon runner determined to finish whatever the cost.

And that cost? The comedic version of credit card fraud, its two hours of your life you'll never get back.

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Identity Thief

  • Stars: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet
  • Director: Seth Gordon
  • Verdict: One star