Movie Review: Identity Thief

By Stephen Rebello

<p>In the Judd Apatow clone R-rated comedy <i>Identity Thief</i> it’s Jason Bateman vs. Melissa McCarthy.<br></p>

Director: Seth Gordon

Rating: R

Studio: Relativity Media

In the Judd Apatow clone R-rated comedy Identity Thief it’s Jason Bateman vs. Melissa McCarthy. He’s an underappreciated drone in the world of numbers crunching. She is a ballsy, big-haired scam artist who swipes his identity, racks up big digits on his plastic and somehow inspires him to leave his pregnant wife (Amanda Peet) to go chasing after her, even though she’s already being hunted by a skip tracer (Robert Patrick) and a two-person mob-hired hit squad (T.I. and Genesis Rodriguez).

Along the way, they curse each other, hit each other in the throat and groin area and gross each other (and us) out, all while the insistent soundtrack churns out pop tunes that have absolutely nothing to do with anything happening on- or offscreen. Director Seth Gordon gave the world Four Christmases and Horrible Bosses, and although the very gifted McCarthy does her damnedest even when getting hit on the head with a frying pan and run over by a car, Bateman looks so disengaged even when he’s mugging shamelessly, he may as well be a CGI effect.

Not that we blame him. It’s a road movie, borrowing freely from Midnight Run and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but it’s about as funny as roadkill. It’s agonizing to sit through. Audiences will love it.


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