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Oh My God this movie was bad
it hurt to sit through the
first 20 minutes to get to the point. I felt I could review it due
without ever bothering to digest the whole piece.
Despite the high profile comedic talent on hand, (Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy), the movie is so predictable that you can guess almost every nuance in it. If you wish to have your intelligence insulted for an hour and a half, this is for you.
The idiotic pranks the script calls for in the first half hour are so predictable, you laugh at the characters as they attempt to convince you they're going through the actual experience of identity theft. The lame attempt to profile a law enforcement agent's disdain for having to pursue an identity thief is akin to what the audience feels in their effort to connect with the characters. McCarty's character is so predictable we've seen it 100 times in Hollywood. Good person feels unloved, steals someone else's material goods to feel appreciated, throws party, is told no one cares and voila they want to do right.
Hello, thanks for your complete lack of originality.
When you have comedic talent, you don't have to give them an 9th grader's high school play script to read. Give them some real material. McCarthy's character is so predictable you already hate her before you're invested into why she actually bother to steal Bateman's character's identity. By the time the movie reveals that McCarthy is a self-loathing, conceited, self deprecating individual who wants out of her predictable Drug/gang related troubles, you have no empathy for her character what-so-ever. In fact, you've already begun to detest her role as a leach.
Bateman is the only character worth investing in and perhaps that's because we still identify with him as one of the principles in Hancock, nearly the same character.
If I'm spending $8 to see a film it sure as heck isn't this one.
Give us a real script and less predictable jokes, less predictable outcomes and less predictable plot lines. Yes, the actors were funny, but everything else about this film suc&ed.
Save your $ go see something else.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have sympathy for Jason Bateman's Sandy Bigelow-Patterson for reasons
other than he was victim to identity fraud. Being a male and having the
name "Sandy" sets up a variety of jokes from socially childish people
who have never seen a male with the unisex name of "Sandy." Had it not
been for my sweet mother, I would've been "Michel Pulaski," rather than
"Steven" because of my father's obsession with Canada and their hockey
players and Quebec Nordiques-player Michel Goulet.
Other than that, that's about all the sympathy I have for the characters in Seth Gordon's Identity Thief. Overlong, underwritten, and tritely crafted, this is a perfect example of a comedy in the genre I call "maximum antics, minimum laughter." To qualify for the placement, you must subject a somewhat interesting premise to more grating physical schtick than the intelligently crafted kind, which centers around characters, wit, heart, substance, and wordplay.
As established, Bateman plays Sandy Bigelow-Patterson, a mild-mannered everyman, functioning aimlessly in the corporate world that leaves him stuck in the center of the ladder. He struggles not only with responsibility and a constant neglect in a pay raise, but with his wife (Amanda Peet) and two children, whose demands will soon become greater. The last thing Sandy needs is Diana (Melissa McCarthy), a portly, frantic, remorseless woman who targets Sandy as the latest victim in her ongoing credit card fraud scheme by obtaining his information via prank call, making him believe his credit card account is in jeopardy. It is when him and a number of his coworkers ditch their dead-end jobs and begin working at a company created by one of the ex-employees (John Cho) does Sandy feel his life is on the up-and-up.
Sandy is soon arrested for failing to appear at a court hearing for Diana, and this is when he discovers he is a victim of an identity theft. Because the law enforcement of Denver has a cockamamie list of rules they adhere to, not arresting or even researching Diana's records since she lives in Winter Park, Florida, Sandy decides to take matters into his own hands by going down to Florida to nab Diana and get her to confess to law enforcement and to his boss to remain secure in his life again. He assumes that because of Diana's pudgy nature, she'll be an easy catch, until he finds that she's a violent, dangerous menace that is almost frighteningly haunted and mentally off balance. Not only that, but both are being pursued by a witless debt collector and two other assassins that want both dead for the crimes they've committed or allegedly committed.
What ensues is a predictable, uneven road comedy between the two, with two actors swimming in potential, but wasting it in a comedy of tired errors. Jason Bateman can play straight characters in obscure worlds in a beautiful way (see Extract for reference), and Melissa McCarthy showed that being gross can be funny in Judd Apatow's Bridesmaids. Both of their schticks begin to show signs of wear as Identity Thief haplessly approaches the hour mark and many laugh-inducing situations have been proposed but none of them fully exercising them.
Gordon's previous film was Four Christmases, a film that wasn't as mawkish and oversentimentalized as it could've been. While it still accentuated a rather negative relation to the holiday of Christmas and was part of the genre I just spoke of, it still kept its premise concise and did not overcompensate its material to a ghastly overlong length. Identity Thief does the opposite. Its unnecessary sequences involving overweight people having intercourse and public humiliation are got from the drearily immature cloth I'm growing ever-so fond of laying in when I watch comedies.
Yet the film really drops the ball when it attempts to make Diana a character we're supposed to feel bad for after all her menace, violent nature, unjustifiable cruelty, and not to mention, her willingness to commit crimes of sheer carelessness. She is so loathsome that it isn't that her dramatic instances where her character receives humanization fall flat, but it's that she's proved herself to be such a smug, arrogant, astronomically mean-spirited character that it's like trying to accept a friend back after he's taken advantage of you numerous times. You feel cheated, used, and now, foolish to consider accepting them back into your life.
Identity Thief unfortunately subjects its leads into joyless, gimmicky physical schtick, frequent car chases, and sorely unfunny scenes that evoke the least common denominator of juvenile humor. It may not be as unabashedly quirky as some other comedic efforts I've seen this year, but regarding the cast, the material, and the ability of the director to create a comfortable, unobtrusive atmosphere, this endeavor should've much, much funnier.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet, and John Cho. Directed by: Seth Gordon.
This is the single worst movie I have seen since Mirrors. A horrible,
laugh-less movie with no redeeming qualities. Not even Jason Bateman's
usual charm or the cameos by Jon Favreau and Robert Patrick could save
this van-wreck of a movie.
Melissa McCarthy's "Diana" was the single most unlikeable character in recent years. Unrelatable, unfunny, unworthy of an hour and a half of screen time. Suspending your disbelief is one thing, but "Identity Thief" requires something a little closer to a lobotomy. With an ending you couldn't miss if you were Helen Keller, there is nothing worth sticking around for. In fact, Helen Keller could've made a better slap- stick comedy than Seth Gordon.
It pains me to see Jason Bateman's name attached to such a horrible movie and I truly hope his next project fairs MUCH better. The worst thing is, "Identity Thief" has already made more money than much better films out there.
One hour and forty seven minutes of my life I will never get back.
I do not recommend this movie to anyone.
Director Seth Gordon's previous feature, "Horrible Bosses" (2012),
wasn't anything special as a comedy despite its potential, but it
contained a few clever moments to make it worthwhile. "Identity Thief"
makes a fatal mistake when Gordon attempts to incorporate a dramatic
element to the story line. By going in this direction, it is no longer
possible to view "Identity Thief" as a compilation of marginal fat
jokes, sex gags, and slapstick humor. Instead, we are forced to absorb
a "serious" aspect that is so poorly rendered it's unbearable to watch.
There are bad movies, and then there's "Identity Thief."
"Identity Thief" starts out as a comedy about a nice, clean-cut guy named Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), who travels from the Colorado home he shares with his wife, Trish (Amanda Peet), and two daughters, to Florida. His goal: track down the woman who stole his identity, trashed his credit rating, and cost him his job. She's Diana (Melissa McCarthy), a fat, foul-mouthed dipstick who is freely spending as she adds to Sandy's debt. What transpires is a series of completely implausible situations that transforms "Identity Thief" into a mismatched buddy film. And that's when the wheel's come off completely. The film suffers from the classic complaint that the funniest moments were in the trailer, and even then it's nothing special. A strong contender for the Razzies, and for those unfamiliar, they acknowledge and award the worst movie of the year. Proceed with caution .you've been warned.
Critics i.e. Rex Reed, must really have it out for Melissa McCarthy
because the hateful reviews on this movie and her personally are not
If you like slapstick, raunchy, adult comedies then you will like Identity Thief. McCarthy shines in this movie, her physical comedy talent is right on the mark and she really gives her character a heart and soul. Bateman does well as the straight man caught up in McCarthy's crazy world of con games and identity theft.
This is pure escapism entertainment, you have to suspend your disbelief and just go for the ride. This is not Argo or Lincoln and it's not supposed to be. We saw this 3/9/13 at the Muvico and the theater was packed! Everyone seemed to enjoy the movie and the four of us thought it was hysterical. There are some really good one liners and physical comedy situations here. The box office success of this movie goes to show you that critics don't know bs about what people find funny. I can't wait to see Melissa in her new movie with Sandra Bullock.
It is deliciously ironic that a movie called Identity Thief has a very
tough time building an identity for itself to display to the audience.
This movie is a total jumble and lacks enough structure to even attempt
to become a decent movie. What saves this movie from being a total
disaster are the lead actors which had been on a roll up to this point.
For those expecting a deliciously dark follow-up to Horrible Bosses
from that same director instead will walk away quite disenchanted and
In a nutshell, stressed father and husband Sandy Patterson has his identity stolen resulting in him building up debt that's being accumulated by another person. Desperately in order to save his job and get his life back, he travels down to Florida to find the thief and convince her to return back to Colorado to get things straightened out. This plot is rather ridiculous, which is why it required a screwball or dark comedic taint to remove the absurdity of it all. Unfortunately, despite the trailers and television spots this barely is a dark comedy, and barely works as a comedy to be exact.
Identity Thief is sometimes funny, but never funny enough. It is sometimes dark and twisted, but never truly dark and twisted enough. It's even sometimes emotional and sentimental (very inconsistently I might add), but even that ship sails too soon far too often. Lastly it is sometimes interesting and suspenseful, but, well, you get the point. The intriguing and potentially hilarious premise of a disgruntled victim meeting his money-sucking predator was started by a Floridian teacher, but gets ruined by a bloated and underdeveloped script by Craig Mazin----whom doesn't really have a good repertoire. The mismatched directing of Seth Gordon didn't help either.
It is ultimately the cast that keeps it afloat, even when the script bogs them down. Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy work well together and did a great job despite the circumstances, particularly McCarthy. Then check out the rest of this underused staff: Eric Stonestreet, Robert Patrick, Amanda Peet, Genesis Rodriguez, Morris Chestnut, and John Cho. Plenty of good actors and each with the ability to breathe life into the project, but unfortunately just didn't have enough screen time to make an impact.
Bottom Line: Resembling a weak, watered-down useless version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles instead of the likes of Horrible Bosses and the best of Danny DeVito, Identity Thief struggles to find the right focus and right footing and winds up becoming a movie that isn't funny enough, isn't dramatic enough, isn't wild enough, isn't likable enough, and generally isn't good enough to warrant a second viewing---or a first one. It's one thing to disappoint, but it's a totally different matter when you disappoint underneath so much potential and so much talent at the helm.
The cast is too talented to have let something like this happen. But
here they are. The film has good intentions, but it doesn't seem to
know what it wants to be as the tone of the film shifts quite
frequently. And this shift in plot and narrative work their way back to
the characters, forcing us to always remain at arms length and never
really become attached or concerned with them. There were plot points
that could have been exploited, and others that could have been omitted
in order to remedy this situation.
Often throughout the film I was on the cusp of laughing at the jokes or being pulled along by the characters, but then would be immediately cut loose. It feels like the film went to production one script revision too soon.
In the end it feels like a modern retelling of De Sica's 1948 Neorealist film The Bicycle Thieves. Just with a traditional Hollywood ending and little to no exploration of the human condition.
Disappointed would be the first word that comes to mind. With such a
colorful cast, you would expect a "laugh out loud" comedy but I found
that aside from a few scenes, that was not the case. Melissa McCarthy
was a riot in the movie Bridesmaids and her weekly TV show Mike an
Molly so naturally you would assume a movie where she plays the leading
role would be hilarious but the film definitely left something to be
desired. I would say to save your money and to wait until the DVD
5.5 out of 10
See my other reviews at: http://maxsmoviestub.wordpress.com/
I went into the Houston premier of Identity Thief with modest
expectations. The movie is more-so about the road trip of the straight
and Honest Sandy alongside the Cunning, throat punching Diana. The
premise is a recycled one, but is done in a fresh way. While watching,
you don't get the "I've seen this before" feeling while watching it.
There are plenty of laughs delivered by the hilarious two leading
characters. The supporting characters actually are the only
disappointments. They seem quite dry with their dialog being rushed and
less integral to the humor of the movie. They are more side notes to
keep the story rolling, but they do not slow the movie down.
The movie is a good time out and not a waste of money if you paid for tickets. It doesn't break the mold, but it does stand up as a movie you will enjoy and actually leave out of the theater talking about!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went to see the movie with my wife, who is a Melissa McCarthy fan
because of Mike and Molly - she sort of liked, I spent most of my time
looking at my watch.
SPOILER ALERT Here is the problem - the movie is a muddle. As others have noted - a lot of screen time and good talent is wasted. Melissa McCarthy's character comes across as a character you initially want to hate, but then feel sorry for - and yes she pulls it off. Jason Bateman comes across as a nice guy who has been screwed by the system - and he pulls it off. The rest of the movie, which involves Bateman bringing McCarthy home, is basically a lift from Rain Man, except it is so full of plot holes that it ceases to be believable, and there are elements thrown in that are frankly wasted. For example, McCarthy has these two crooks who want to kill her for selling them bad forged credit cards. They show up briefly in initial part of the flick, give the bounty hunter a hard time - but really don't do much. We have no good explanation of why McCarthy is is so much trouble with these folks. We have no explanation as to why there is a 50,000 bounty on McCarthy. And really, Bateman's character has forgiven McCarthy by the end - but let us think about this - he is making a relatively small salary, if he fails to clear his name he gets fired from his new job and could get a criminal record - do you really think that someone who works in the financial industry would risk having a criminal record and a shot credit rating? Sorry, if it was me, I'd feel sorry for the woman and be willing to say that she had a hard life and be lenient on her - but as far as letting her go - no, no way...And as far as his ex-boss making false accusations about Bateman that led to a criminal investigation, which was obviously for revenge - don't you think that would be grounds for legal action? I mean, really......
Overall, the movie fails miserably because plot fails the believability test. While it is true that movie goers suspend belief, there has to be a certain amount of buy-in to the plot - and the movie fails in this regard.
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