Moving right along, we hit the I selection. You know, these are pretty slim pickings. I, Q, X, you know. My second round is proving to have some holes where I’m waiting for some interesting selections to pop up. I’m taking chances on some pretty funky stuff for some of these letters. I can only hope I’ll find some treasures. However, there was no doubt that the first round for I would be this choice, Identity Thief. I’ve been looking at it for a while. I just hesitate because Melissa McCarthy’s humor doesn’t always work for me.
Let’s stay positive and give this a go! 🙂
Identity Thief (2013)
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, John Cho, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, T.I., Genesis Rodriguez, Robert Patrick
Mild mannered businessman Sandy Patterson travels from Denver to Florida to confront the deceptively harmless looking woman who has been living it up after stealing Sandy’s identity. – IMDB
I always start reviews on comedy genre movies saying that is fully subjective. The humor I appreciate might work for me and not you and vice versa. Melissa McCarthy falls into the category of not working so often because she always goes into the absurd stupid humor. I like absurd. I watched Stephen Chow growing up but I don’t like stupid. So there was a 50/50 chance of this not working. Even the director himself is a hit and miss on my book. Seth Gordon did Horrible Bosses which I enjoyed but he also did Four Christmases which I dislike. Now that I’ve kind of cushioned where this movie could be a hit or miss, I would like to say that this was for the most part a miss.
Identity Thief was mostly really hard to get invested into. I’m not saying I didn’t laugh a little because there were some parts that worked and I kind of chuckled here and there. Then the humor was kind of weird and absurd (in a bad way) and pretty stupid. Melissa McCarthy does certain troupes that don’t always work and for me, it worked only a little here and there but for the most part, it felt like its been there done that and I just felt a little repulsed by it. Other times, it just felt so boring that I tried to stay focused but went off to flip through other pages as I surfed the Internet and it played in the background. Like that scene below was really ugh…like I turned my head in disgust and just didn’t enjoy it. I understand how for some it could be funny but it didn’t make me laugh. It was just kind of cringe-worthy.
Set some uneffective jokes aside, as a road trip movie, which it is because Jason Bateman’s character Sandy has to bring Diana (Melissa McCarthy) home from Florida to Denver within a set time frame, they both do have charisma for the characters they play. They have certain expected things that happen and their dislike for each other and just fight for survival does lead them to do things that can be classified as adventurous or ridiculous. While I sympathize for Sandy a little more, its hard to not notice that the story did want us to connect with Diana more because they do try to build a back story for her. For a moment, it almost did pull me in but at a certain point, not funny just got annoying and it just stopped me from caring about them. I get the urgency and the hate and whatever relationship they have, but it just didn’t work so well.
The parts in the movie I did like was really the more action comedy parts with the two up there who work for a crime boss or gang or something and they are after Diana for something she owes them. It still has some comedic value to these characters but they added a bit of entertainment that gave a break from Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman and their jokes. It added some danger and intensity (just a bit). They had some funny bits along with another “bounty hunter”-esque sort of fellow played by Robert Patrick who was actually more fun to watch than the other ones.
Honestly, I’m out of stuff to say about Identity Thief. It was okay. I’m a little indifferent but mostly just bored because its the same old troupes that I expected. I still think Jason Bateman can be a very funny guy when given the right script. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for Melissa McCarthy but her performance always stands out more because its more explicit and/or absurd. There are a few laughs here but I’m sure in a few days it’ll completely escape my mind and I won’t remember it anymore. If I wanted to watch a good road trip movie, I’d rather watch something like Little Miss Sunshine and if I wanted a better comedy, I’d go for a thousand other choices like Horrible Bosses even.
Did you see Identity Thief? What are your thoughts? Do you like comedies with Jason Bateman or Melissa McCarthy?
J is up next! What do you think it is? Hint: Irish drama