On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Identity Thief

2013/USA

Director: Seth Gordon

Cast: Jason BatemanMelissa McCarthyJon FavreauAmanda PeetT.I.Genesis Rodriguez 

Ugh. Let’s get this over with. I won’t deny the fact that I never watched a film starring Melissa McCarthy in specifically because in the short space of time it takes to watch a trailer with her in she managed to really get under my skin. Watching her play one of the most morally and comically deprived characters I’ve witnessed pushed my blood-pressure to the unhealthiest of levels. That aside, this still wouldn’t have been very enjoyable anyway since there’s next to nothing to laugh at unless you find infantile jokes about being overweight or gags I could’ve come up with whilst I was in nappies funny.

Jason Bateman, star of Arrested Development and Horrible Bosses, plays mild-mannered family man Sandy Patterson who finds out he suddenly has no money to his name despite being very careful with his cash. Eventually he discovers his identity has been stolen by con-artist McCarthy – a brilliant casting choice since she somehow has a career in making comedy films, which astonishes me to no end.

Long story short, Patterson drives to Florida to bring his name’s criminally annoying usurper back to Denver to answer for her crimes, the foremost of which should be every attempt she made at being funny.   All kinds of mishaps happen on the way back and at some point near the end I think I was supposed to feel sorry for McCarthy’s multi-monikered character (Julie, Diana, Sandy – take your pick) but in fact, didn’t. That’s probably down to the fact that by that point, I liked her about as much as a vegan likes Big Macs.

For anybody who thinks my criticism of McCarthy is harsh, may I remind you that I had 111 minutes of my life taken away from me which wouldn’t have been so bad were those minutes not filled with her falling, screaming and making other lame attempts at humour.

Now that I’ve vented somewhat, I’m going to move on to the brief glimmers of hope that shone through the wall-to-wall joke void that is Identity Thief. These were delivered by Jason Bateman, not the funniest of comedy actors but pretty good at playing down-on-their-luck characters with good timing and deadpan delivery. I may have chuckled slightly or smirked at a few points through this film and those were all thanks to Bateman and the rare instance someone decided to write something with a shred of wit in it.

What it all comes down to though is another trashy comedy full of American humour that pretty much centres around a fat person being fat, a lot of screaming and where the writers have lost the will to come up with anything with a semblance of intelligence, gratuitous use of the words ‘boob’ and ‘vagina’ to get a cheap laugh out of people who’ve matured to the level of a single-cell amoeba.

A couple of fun bits, not enough to save it though.

2/5

-Saul Nix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqQg6Rlt6W4

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