Two likeable lead actors do not necessarily make a likeable film. Identity Thief is testament to this.
Sensible office worker Sandy Patterson is dismayed to find that someone has stolen his identity. With the police being of limited help, Sandy travels from Denver to Florida to confront the woman who has caused a whole heap of trouble…
Identity Thief is a comedy which also strives for a more emotional connection with its audience. The film would have been more enjoyable if it had been funnier. Simply put, there are not not enough belly laughs. Whilst Identity Thief does amuse at times, this is not sufficient to sustain the entire movie.
Identity Thief follows a caper format, with plenty of obstacles thrown in to hinder Sandy from completing his goal. The film requires a healthy suspension of disbelief. Not least in its premise; it is highly dubious that it would be left to the victim to bring a perpetrator to justice.
The two main characters work reasonably well together in a odd-couple kind of way. Writers Craig Mazin and Jerry Eeten have attempted to give the two protagonists a bit of depth. To a certain extent, viewers will care about the fate of both of them. But this is undermined somewhat by implausibility of the set-up. The secondary characters are very one dimensional. Some are outright caricatures.
Jason Bateman is suitably cast as the straight guy to Melissa McCarthy’s wacky character. Both are good comedy actors; it is a shame they did not have stronger material to work with in this instance. Jon Favreau is fittingly odious in a small role, while Amanda Peet has little to do in playing the supportive housewife.
Identity Thief is by no means painful viewing. However, it is unlikely to be a movie that audiences return to again and again.