‘Identity Thief’ disappoints with cheap, uninspired humor

By Jair Fuentes

“Identity Thief” turns a unique concept into a typical road trip comedy which follows Sandy Patterson, a man who has his identity stolen by a woman.

Jason Bateman stars as Sandy Patterson alongside Melissa McCarthy as Diana, the con artist who steals Patterson’s identity. Right away, Patterson discovers that he is over the limit on his credit card and his crazy journey begins.

Two thousand miles away in Florida, Diana is spending recklessly, cleverly taking advantage of Patterson’s “unisex” first name.

When detectives fail to help Patterson, he decides to go to Florida and capture Diana himself.

Once there, however, he realizes they can’t fly back because both of them have the same personal information. His only choice is to drive back with Diana resulting in a chain of events all too familiar to other “road-trip” comedies.

The problem with this film is that it doesn’t keep a steady comedic beat, therefore losing its audience. The actors involved are all great actors and because of that, it is barely tolerable. The humor is unoriginal, the situations are all over the place and the pacing drags the film making it feel longer than it is.

Bateman does a good job in his role as the responsible family man searching for respect at work. This role has been seen numerous times in other films, such as “Daddy Day Care” and “Click.” While this character is usually rooted for, it’s a bit boring to see him tackle it with practically no enhancement.

The star of the film is McCarthy. She does an excellent job exuding a larger-than-life yet obnoxious personality.

While the material is not great, McCarthy shows a skill in physical comedy. From falling down to getting hit by a car, her timing is always on point.

The film also tries to incorporate a few villains, played by Robert Patrick, Genesis Rodriguez, and rapper T.I.

They are all after Diana for money and drug reasons, but are never fully explained. In fact, the villains’ involvement is abruptly removed, making those situations fell irrelevant.

While the premise makes a serious situation humorous, writer Craig Mazin doesn’t take any risks. He plays it safe with the humor, taking too much time trying to direct sympathy towards Diana and relying on weak jokes to carry the film, especially the over usage of unisex name references.

Due to all this, there is nothing special about this film to hail it as a legitimate comedy.

“Identity Thief” is rated R for sexual content and language and runs for an hour and 52 minutes.

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