Thursday, 15 August 2013

Identity Thief

Just released on blu-ray is Identity Thief, a crime comedy about a man (Jason Bateman) getting his identity stolen by a woman (Melissa McCarthy). Despite the two lead characters being played by very funny comedians this film is only slightly more fun than identity theft is in real life.

The plot of Identity thief is shit, and very lazy, though the quality of the actors mean that the odd joke manages to force its way through the fence of tedium into your ears, but after all the abuse your entertainment glands have been given you end up having a sad smile on your face. The kind of smile you would have if your son told you he wanted to be a scientist when he grows up moments after you found he had only six months to live. Alas the duo of Bateman and McCarthy was not enough to turn this boring film about driving from America to somewhere else in America into Smokey and the Bandit. Instead it felt like a really awful version of Due Date. Due Date Rape if you like.

In short the plot is this. A man with a funny name ‘Sandy Patterson’ gets his identity stolen by a woman. This is funny because he has a funny name. You see the joke? It’s funny because Sandy is more traditionally associated with women and not men, and this joke is what the whole film is based on. It only gets worse from here. I would find more humour in watching a child crying over his mothers’ corpse.

One tedious thing leads to another and man Sandy is going to get fired because of all the accusations from the police about things that woman-Sandy has done in his name. Man-Sandy then has to go find woman-Sandy and bring her back to his office to clear his name so he can keep his job. Woman-Sandy’s real name is Diana and man-Sandy reminds her for an hour that she is a bad person for stealing peoples identities. Lots of people (including a bounty hunter and some unhappy fake credit card customers) also think Diana’s a bad person so they chase her across the country trying to kill her with guns and cars, but that all gets sorted pretty quickly by Deus-ex-machina-by-numbers script writing.

Throughout this film we are supposed, I assume, to believe that man-Sandy is a lovely man and this shouldn’t happen to such a lovely man. He participates in a murder, kidnapping, credit card fraud and lies to his wife constantly throughout the film. The entire film could’ve been avoided if he had taken responsibility for a miscalculation and asked his wife to give him a lift home. Instead he impersonates his ex-boss and sneaks in to steal his credit card details after hours of constant bitching that that EXACT same thing is horrible to do. Diana conversely gets a conscience after a meal and decides to turn herself in since, despite the whole venture, man-Sandy was going to let her get away with it despite that leading to him not being able to support his wife and kids. I’m starting to think this script was written by people jotting down clich├ęs on bits of sweet-corn and just eating them all up - whichever bits they could read clearly in the toilet bowl a few hours later became their film.

What I completely fail to understand is why two self-respecting comedians would tarnish themselves with such a ridiculous venture. Arrested development is mind blowingly good and Bridesmaids was surprisingly laugh-out-loud funny and yet they decided to take several steps back from quality to bore the shit out of me for two hours. It’s like discovering you can ejaculate money and reacting by becoming a priest. Though at least if you did that there would be rich children all over the world.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Identity Thief at CeX

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