Movie Review: Identity Thief

by @edent | #

Movie poster with the subtitle "She's having the time of *his* life!"

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) gets a nice call confirming his name and other identifying information. The next thing he knows, a spa in Florida is reminding him of his appointment and his credit cards are maxed out. With his identity stolen, Sandy leaves his wife, kids and job to literally bring the thief to justice in Colorado. Keeping tabs on the other Sandy (Melissa McCarthy) and run-ins with bounty hunters is harder than he was expecting, and ultimately the cross-country trip is going to find both Sandys learning life tips from one another.

This is two movies rolled into one. Sadly, neither are particularly good. One is a screwball road-trip with an odd-couple. The jokes are lazy, transphobic, and have the subtly of a brick to the head. I was two beers in when I started watching and it only raised a couple of chuckles.

The second movie is a violent and gritty chase, with people getting shot, cars being destroyed, and homicidal criminals wreaking havoc on all they survey.

There’s nothing funny about watching people get shot in the leg, and there’s nothing tense about a car chase undercut by fat jokes. The whole thing feels like they couldn’t decide which movie to make. The weird redemption arc feels tacky – with the explicit assumption that you can’t see inner beauty until someone has received a makeover.

I usually like Melissa McCarthy’s films. But this was about as enjoyable as a punch to the throat.

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