Friday, March 22, 2013

Identity Thief

Identity Thief - 111Min – R

I am a Jason Bateman fan. I have followed his work from "It’s Your Move" on TV. I enjoyed Arrested Development and many of his other film projects Like Juno, Paul and Hancock. I say all this because I feel I need to clarify I love him, but I did not like this movie. It was flat and not very funny, primarily because the trailer has all of the good bits and the emotional connection is handled poorly so we don’t have any time to really get to know the characters. They run from gag to gag to gag and then I gagged. The only thing that gets stole is your time; this is a very red light film.

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) lives with his wife (Amanda Peet) and his two kids, Fanny (Mary-Charles Jones) and Jessie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones). He is going about his business when he gets a call from con artist, Diana (Melissa McCarthy) who convinces him to give her his personal information. She assumes his Identity, because Sandy is a unisex name, and goes on a wild spending spree in Miami. Sandy is arrested in his home in Denver because she was arrested and missed a court date. The police say their hands are tied and he can only clear his name if the person who stole his Identity comes to Denver and confesses. Sandy takes control and goes to Miami and tries to bring her back and hijinks ensue.

I said that all the good bits were in the trailer and perhaps that was a little harsh. There are other good things in the subplot of the movie but it was really too long a walk. I think the biggest problem with the movie is pacing and trying to add too many elements to this simple story. There is a sub plot with Robert Patrick playing a Bounty Hunter and some gangsters also chasing Diana, but all it does is take away time for us to start developing a relationship with Diana so we feel for her during the emotional moments. They just don’t give us time to start empathizing with her.

This should have been a good medium for the stars to really work their magic -- Bateman as the straight man McCarthy as the comedian -- that is a recipe for comedy gold. Maybe they didn’t take into account the altitude when cooking the story at the Denver.

Warring Spoilers!!!!! Please enter your social security number in the space provided to see them!!!!

I don’t like it when characters do not stay true to their character throughout the film, and if they change they need to suffer the consequences. Sandy decides to embrace the dark side and give his very deserving boss a little bit of his pain and steals his identity. He is now doing the thing that he is fighting against. What I don’t care for is how easy he jumped sides. He was in a tight spot but there are other methods of getting by. Then he is magically exonerated because Diana says it’s all her fault. I think he is still an accessory to the crime.

There is a bit where a snake bites Sandy on the neck and Diana beats him to death. The snake, not Sandy. The Snake was so CG-ish that I was distracted. The gag was just not as good and if you needed to get Sandy to start feeling something for Diana you could have had him fall or pass out from hitting his head on a branch. Then you can still have Diana looking like a hero for carrying him a half a mile to the road. It would have been better to watch her carry him as opposed to just saying she did. Having her rant about how heavy he is for the half mile would make for better comedy. Melissa McCarthy does some excellent comedy riffs in this movie and should have been give more space to just role with it.

Who are your favorite comedic comedy duos? Mine is Stallone and Russell. Tango and Cash is the best comedy ever.

1 comment:

Fat Samurai said...

Hey readers, I am sorry for the gaps in my posts. I am trying to balance school and work and try and get in some free writing time. things are freeing up so you will see a movie consistent flow of post, happy viewing.