‘Identity Thief’ DVD Review: Underwhelming Film And Special Features To Match
Identity Thief, starring funny leading man Jason Bateman and physical comedic actress Melissa McCarthy, definitely banks on our admiration for both Bateman and McCarthy. But despite the great line-up, the movie fails to deliver the real laughs that both actors are capable of.
Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Bateman) is a middle-class married father of two—with one on the way—working in the financial services industry. Fed up with being underappreciated and sending huge bonus checks to top company executives, he decides to join other mutiny co-workers to form their own company. But just as Sandy’s luck is finally looking up, he’s arrested for being severely behind on huge credit card payments and failing to show up at a court date in Winter Park, Florida.
Telling the police that he thinks he’s the newest victim of an identity scam, a detective (Morris Chestnut) runs a mug shot of the alleged Sandy Bigelow Patterson, and discovers that it is indeed the workings of an identity thief, Diana (McCarthy). When told that it could take up to a year to sort out the messy scam, the real Patterson decides that he’s going to travel to Florida to find the scamming woman and bring her back to Denver in order to save his career and his life. Patterson leaves his pregnant wife (Amanda Peet) and two young girls to retrieve the pretend Sandy, which proves to be not all that hard, and from there on out the two engage in a somewhat funny, hugely predictable road trip that serves up ridiculous physical tricks by McCarthy intended to satisfy audiences.
It pains me to say, because I adore Bateman and like McCarthy, but this film simply plays on the actors names and refuses to dish out anything remotely worth seeing. McCarthy seems to steal scenes more in movies where she isn’t the feature character (Bridesmaids), yet in a main role she seems to rely solely on her size to create awkward laughs at times. You’d think she and Bateman would be comedic gold, but for some reason this film really isn’t a good watch and runs way longer than necessary (nearly two hours). With cameos from Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), McCarthy’s real life husband, Ben Falcone (What to Expect When You’re Expecting), and rapper T.I.—as one of the bounty hunters on Diana’s trail—there are just too many characters to keep track of and too much going on.
All in all, Identity Thief is mildly amusing, too long, and completely forgettable. Anyone who is a huge fan of either Bateman or McCarthy has to chalk this one up as a mistake and hope that their future endeavors provide the genuine laughs that made us fall for them in the first place.
The Blu-Ray DVD combo special features include a short gag reel, an approximately 20-minute “Making of” extra, and some alternate takes. The “Making of” extra is only slightly interesting as you get to see how thrilled McCarthy was at the opportunity to star in the film as per Bateman’s request. The Blu-Ray also has an added exclusive special titled “Capturing the Humor of Identity Thief.”
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