Friday, February 8, 2013

Identity Thief review; a hilarious cast, a hideous script

If you're a movie fan, you know the three talented people involved in Identity Thief.  Seth Gordon, the director of Horrible Bosses is in charge of this road trip comedy.  Melissa McCarthy made us all fall over laughing in the 2011 blockbuster, Bridesmaids.  And we all know how great of a comedic actor Jason Bateman is.  Let's get right into it.

What I like about the film?
The actors
McCarthy and Bateman have an amazing chemistry together.  From their very first scene, you'd think the couple has made countless movies together.  The fact that they're so physically different from one another, only added to the comedy.  McCarthy also gets to flex her dramatic acting chops, believe it or not.  Her character has the biggest turn, and the best material to work with.  But what both actors do is, they elevate the film with a little bit of improve, a little bit of timing, and a lot of bit of physical comedy.  They were great.

Also, I would be wrong not to mention Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family"). He plays a hilarious character named Big Chuck.  I don't want to give anything away, but there is a love scene that will have you rolling in pain from laughter.  I love his part in the film.

What I didn't like about the film?
The Plot
The plot is just.  Plain.  Dumb.  In case the trailer, or the movie title didn't give it away; McCarthy steals Bateman's identity, basically ruining his life.  So Bateman takes matters into his own hands, and goes to capture McCarthy.  Let's stop right there for a minute.  The police are so hopeless, the victim has to cross state lines to get his identity thief?  His best friend, and now boss, believes he has to fire him because someone stole his identity?  Seriously?  There's more...

The two main characters are being chased by a bounty hunter, played by Robert Patrick.  But now HE'S being chased by Genesis Rodriguez and T.I., the people who hired him.  Rodriguez and T.I. play drug dealers who have no godly business being in this movie.  And should we back up a moment; why would a very successful identity thief with a big heart (McCarthy), sell credit cards to the drug cartel to begin with!?  It's just so dumb, I couldn't take it half way through the film.  I blame it all on writer Craig Mazin.  Then again, what did we expect from a guy that wrote a couple of the Scary Movie films, as well as The Hangover II?

The Verdict:
There are way better road trip comedies
When Bridesmaids was released, in my review, I noted that McCarthy was the star of the show; and was being compared to Zach Galifianakis of The Hangover.  How ironic!  Galifianakis starred as an eccentric character, opposite an uptight stiff played by Robert Downey Jr., in the road trip comedy, Due Date.  Well what do you know?  McCarthy plays an eccentric character, opposite an uptight stiff played by Jason Bateman, in the road trip comedy, Identity Thief.  No wonder it was never sold as a road trip comedy; people would have noticed just how similar it is to Due Date.

If only the plot wasn't so dumb.  If only the characters' motivations were more realistic.  If only their character arcs were better.  If only the Rodriguez and T.I. characters weren't even in the film.  If only...  In the end, it was for not.  The actors did the best job possible.  The situational comedy is great, as is the physical comedy.  But ultimately, it wasn't enough to salvage a terrible script.  I'm ok with it though.  Gordon, Batmen and McCarthy will keep us laughing for years and years to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm entirely sure if I just wasn't in the mood for a comedy or if the movie just fell flat. To be honest, I’m going with the latter. Good review Tony.