I think Jason Bateman is awesome, I truly do. His persona and comedic tone are "take it or leave it" as most comedians are these days, but he always manages to get you on his side by being a likable character. Melissa McCarthy is an altogether different story. I didn't care for BRIDESMAIDS and feel it was undeserving of all the hype it mustered. I didn't find McCarthy's character likable or entertaining there, but she was hilarious in THIS IS 40. That said, the trailer for THE HEAT came out shortly after IDENTITY THIEF and clearly showed me that McCarthy's crass over-the-top act no doubt has an expiry date. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this type of humor, but after awhile is does get old.
All this aside, the story is rather useless. From taking a serious crime that's sweeping the nation and poking fun at it, to giving us little to no hope in the law. I mean seriously, is this really police protocol? You have a picture of a known felon stealing a man's identity and you just do nothing? Where's Dog the bounty hunter when you need him? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for him going after her, but I'd have simplified the situation to handcuffs and a taser. The plan would go as follows: Find her, get close, taser her in the face, cuff her, throw her in the drunk, open a Red Bull and start the journey home. There's no entertainment value there movie-wise, but it's a solid plan. As for the thugs she's angered along the way? Let her take a bullet or two, she seems resilient enough and the cops didn't say they needed her alive.
IDENTITY THIEF was disappointing, but I wasn't expecting much going in. This flick screamed "all the best parts were jammed into the trailer", so my expectations were low. I was hoping to be surprised, but that simply didn't happen. Both Bateman and McCarthy worked well off one another in a way, but after seeing the trailer so many times, watching him get punched in the throat and seeing her thrown around like a ragdoll didn't stretch as far as I hoped it would. Some people are comparing McCarthy's work to the late Chris Farley, which I agree with as much as I disagree with. I agree on the side of her antics matching his, and because of this, as I mentioned before, her routine will get old just as Farley's did (TOMMY BOY was the performance he never could duplicate). However, I disagree because no matter the role, or how utterly stupid it may have come across, Farley was a lovable teddy bear you just wanted to squeeze. I find McCarthy's characters entertaining (for the moment), but they're far from likeable and this could play a deciding role in her long-term appeal.
Alternate Takes: Lots of puking from McCarthy, rambling from Favs and redundant car scenes. Iíd love to know what happened to all the missing bits from the trailer.
The Making of Identity Thief: Bateman and McCarthy talk about similar sense of humor and timing, which I can agree with and dig, but the writing wasnítí really there so it wasnít nearly as funny or witty as it could have been. I expected more from both of them.
Scene Stealing: Capturing the Humor of Identity Thief: Well, they must have been doing their ďcapturingĒ in a catch and release pond because it ainít here. Amanda Peet says this is the best script sheís read in a long while. I guess thatís why we donít see her in movies anymore.
The Skiptracerís Van Tour: Robert Patrickís talent was wasted here, and his performance felt like a revamp of his character in STRIP TEASE. No Skip, we donítí need to see the inside of your padlocked rape van. Thanks though.
Previews: Thereís a pile of trailers (mostly old comedies) as well as a DVD, Digital and Ultraviolet Copy of the film.