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'Identity Thief' Movie Review

About.com Rating .5 Star Rating

By

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in 'Identity Thief'

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in 'Identity Thief'

© Universal Pictures
I understand from reports that Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy had the crew laughing on the set of Identity Thief, and those reports leave me feeling cheated. Why did they shut the camera off whenever anything funny happened? What winds up on the screen is far from laugh-inducing material. Apparently anything funny was wasted when the cameras weren't rolling or was cut out of the final product that will, hopefully, vanish quickly from theaters without many people having to suffer through this waste of time and talent.

The set-up finds Melissa McCarthy playing a horrendously annoying woman who steals other people's identities. She then uses those identities to buy an odd assortment of items, buy drinks for strangers in bars, and to destroy the lives of innocent men and women who are left financially devastated from her criminal behavior. The script by Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part 2) sets it up so that the audience can not like this woman. She's abusive and irritating, and doesn't care about the lives she's ruining.

And then along comes a hard-working husband and father with the unfortunate name of 'Sandy'. His boss (Jon Favreau) is an ass, he's underpaid, and that bonus he was hoping for doesn't materialize. So, what's he do? He joins the company formed by one of his disgruntled co-workers at a salary five times greater than what he's making. But then whatever her name is steals his identity, sets his credit rating plunging, and leaves him without any money. She also causes him to lose his new job and to be arrested for something she did in Florida (he lives in Colorado).

Convincing both the police and his new boss that he can bring her in and clear his name, Sandy sets out on a road trip to hell - or at least the audience will believe that's the destination once this film gets into full swing.

Identity Thief could quite possibly be one of the most despicable 'comedies' to hit theaters in a decade. It's crude, doesn't make a lick of sense, and features characters you want to muzzle. Melissa McCarthy is made to look a fool and Jason Bateman tries to slide by on the goodwill he's built up from better comedies. Sorry Jason, you've done this shtick before and it's getting old.

If this movie robs you of your money, you have no one to blame but yourself. You've been warned. The theft of identity that's going on here is the fact this thing is falsely advertising itself as a comedy.

GRADE: F

Identity Thief was directed by Seth Gordon and is rated R for sexual content and language.

Theatrical Release: February 8, 2013

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