Star Rating:

Identity Thief

Director: Seth Gordon

Actors: Jason Bateman, John Cho

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Crime, Factual

Running time: 111 minutes

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) seems to have a pretty good life; a loving wife (Amanda Peet - remember her?), two kids and another one on the way. He's just left his old job with a horrible boss (Jon Favreau) and is now starting a new job with a higher position, more money and a boss (John Cho) he actually likes. Everything is going his way, until his credit cards start getting declined and he gets pulled over by the cops. What's more, there's a warrant out for his arrest. As it turns out, however, there's a woman in Florida who goes by the same name (Melissa McCarthy) who has stolen Bateman's identity and built up a butt-load of debt under his name. With the police completely unable to help him out, the real Sandy takes it upon himself to head down south and bring the fake Sandy back up to his local police so his life can go back to normal.

So what we have here is a mix of the Robert De Niro comedy 'Midnight Run' and that episode of Friends when the fat lady stole Monica's identity, but this time we have two genuinely great leads, with Bateman and McCarthy combining for a hilarious duo. Unfortunately though, they're saddled with a mostly formulaic and unoriginal script. Nevertheless, this is 100 minutes of comedic mayhem, with the funny scenes vying for attention among some highly emotional moments wherein the film tries to make you feel for what should be a difficult person to warm to. But McCarthy does most of that heavy lifting on her own, and even when she's ruining people's lives and constantly punching folk in the throat, her version of Sandy is still hugely likeable.

There are a lot of supporting folk who appear throughout the film's various subplots - Robert Patrick as a bounty hunter, Genesis Rodriguez and rapper T.I. as gangsters, Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks as a gang leader, Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet as a love interest - but the best moments are when the two Sandy's are left alone in a small space, usually beating each other up. The jokes aren't new, or even particularly all that funny, but thankfully Bateman and McCarthy make the most of them. As a way to kill a few hours on a rainy March evening, Identity Thief will hit the spot.