“Identity Thief” Relies Too Much on McCarthy; Comes Off as Predictable

Identity Thief

Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman) is an account rep who has just been offered the opportunity of his dreams.  He has been offered a chance to get back at the company that has been screwing him for so long (and make quite a bit of money, too).  But he’s not out of the woods yet, as Sandy prepares to start his new job, he finds out that his credit card is maxed out and there is a warrant out for his arrest.  Sandy soon realizes his identity has been stolen.  This sudden turn of events does not make Sandy’s new business partner very happy and it becomes aware that, thanks to a flawed police system, he, himself, must track down this “identity thief” (Melissa McCarthy).

The plot is extremely predictable.  It starts off with the severely overused, “Just as things start to look up for our hero…”, and leads into a series of unfortunate, yet increasingly cliche, events.  As expected, the ridiculous situation our main character finds himself in (travelling cross-country with the person who stole his identity) escalates as the movie goes on.  The two encounter multiple enemies along the way that threaten to stop their trip short (even more cliche).  And just as we think the movie can’t possibly be more predictable, McCarthy and Bateman actually begin to like eachother (I know. Who saw that coming, right?).  This lack of originality makes Identity Thief hard to recommend.

At this point, you may be thinking, “So the movie is a little predictable, but can’t it still be funny?”  This is where Identity Thief really comes up short.  What it lacks in originality, it fails to make up for in humor.  Melissa McCarthy simply tries too hard.  It looks as if the director just told McCarthy to ad-lib the whole thing and comes off a bit forced.  There are a few fight scenes early on between Bateman and McCarthy that produce a few chuckles, but that’s about it.  The plot goes off on a few tangents that were clearly intended to arise some laughter, but McCarthy just doesn’t deliver.

Identity Thief, while not particularly awful, doesn’t bring much to the table.  It uses quite a few worn out plot twists and relies too heavily on Melissa McCarthy, who’s humor seems too arduous and forced.  If you ask me, I say save your hour and fifty minutes.


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