IMDb.com User Rating: 5.7/10
RottenTomatoes.com: 21% positive
PBJ Rating: 4.5/10 ♥’s
What happens when you mash up Bridesmaids, Arrested Development, and Due Date? You get Identity Thief. Seth Rogan‘s latest comedy romp stars Jason Bateman as the well-meaning, hum drumming financier and Melissa McCarthy as the deplorable moocher who steals his identity. One massively chaotic road trip and some mistaken identity banter provide the building blocks for whatever this movie is trying to get across. See for yourself:
Rogan’s directorial follow up to the fantastic Horrible Bosses does not, however, live up to the associations listed above. For me personally, it just fizzles. You wouldn’t guess it from that gem of a trailer. Whoever puts these together is a genius. But, I digress…
I had high hopes for Identity Thief. The topic is original, current, and harbours some huge comedic potential. You would think that with such an original concept, Seth Rogan’s portfolio, and, as the trailer points out, production talent from Ted, that Identity Thief would turn out more genuine laughs than it does. Aside from a couple LOL-worthy moments and some hilariously awkward predicaments, I was underwhelmed. Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy is delightful as the devious and diabolical Diana; yet her character is still beyond salvation in my eyes, and the performance left me wanting in comparison to Bridesmaids. As for the Golden Globe winning Bateman, his character’s persona from Arrested Development was no different from that of Sandy Patterson in Identity Thief. Having said that, I still love the guy’s work. Really I love both these actors, and their chemistry was actually great. Which maybe means an uninspired script. So if not the actors, nor the concept is to blame, then it must be the execution.
When you take a look at the portfolios of Identity Thief‘s writers, it’s not hard to see how that happened. I point to Craig Mezin, whose past work includes writing credits for the unoriginal Hangover Part II and the seriously-please-stop-making-these-movies narratives in Superhero Movie and Scary Movie 3 & 4.
And as this film isn’t exactly a nail-biter, I don’t feel bad giving away the fairly predictable ending. She goes to prison, he gets his life back. They even try to tie this story up in a nice little bow, with the imprisoned Diana becoming family friends with Sandy and the Patterson clan. I don’t buy it. I did however enjoy the fact that justice was served in the end.
Identity Thief has been a hit at the U.S. box office, and I admit makes for a decently lighthearted date movie. Catch this film in cinemas when it debuts across New Zealand on Thursday.