Identity Thief review (Blu-ray)

Gordon and Bateman team up once more after the painfully average Horrible Bosses for this little crime caper cum road trip film which has a couple of funny moments, a lot of stupid moments, far too many rubbish moments and almost no Favreau. In short, it is painfully average.

The story centres around Bateman's character Sandy Paterson who, in a radical departure from Bateman's regular roles, is a mild mannered family man who gets kicked in the genitals by an unfair world. In this case, the unfair world takes the form of Diane (McCarthy) who spends her days stealing people's identitites, making counterfeit credit cards and living the high life. Having had his identity stolen and being accussed of crimes that he didn't commit, Sandy is given one week by his new boss Daniel Casey (Cho) to clear his name and return to work or risk losing his job, Sandy manages to follow the trail of receipts to Florida where he has to confont Diane and get her to agree to return to Denver and clear his name. Things are complicated by the fact Diane has some dodgy gangster types on her tail in the shape of Marisol (Rodriguez) and Julian (T.I), as well as grizzled bounty hunter Skiptracer (Patrick).

All the pieces are in place here for an amusing little comedy and the first 15 minutes or so does a decent job at setting things up, but once Sandy and Diane begin their road trip back to Denver, the comedy quickly runs out and is replaced by far too much sentimentiality. Despite having a sordid past full of criminal activity and a complete lack of initial remorse when Sandy first tracks her down, Diane is made out to actually be a nice girl who just needed a hug from her mum.

Bateman and McCarthy are not given a great deal to work with by the wooden dialogue and predictable plot, but, as much as the Arrested Development fan in me hates to say it, I am not convinced that Bateman has the gravitas to carry a film by himself without a great deal of able support. The support in this film is severely lacking and while McCarthy is amusing in bursts, her character just isn't that interesting. Peet and Cho have pretty much nothing to do while the astoundingly named Genesis Rodriguez and her less well monikered co-star T.I. are just not funny and Favreau is in the film for the first two minutes then never seen again.

At its infrequent best, this film brought back memories of Dumb and Dumber – an absolute masterclass in how to do an absurd road trip movie – and the fact that these two films both share the plot thread of our heroes being tracked by crooks only adds to the comparison. However, that is as far as it goes. Dumb and Dumber was over the top and knew it, while Identity Thief isn't sure if it is a slapstick comedy or something deeper with a bit of heart and ends up being neither.

EXTRAS ★★ Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film (the 112-minute theatrical version and extended 121-minute cut); the featurette The Making of Identity Thief (17:07); the featurette Scene Stealing (8:28); Alternate Takes (5:21); the featurette The Skiptracer's Van Tour (4:42); and a rather limp Gag Reel (1:02).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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