Family man Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is just about making ends meet. His loving wife is expecting their third baby, and while he has a job, they don’t know how they are going to afford to feed another addition to their family, let alone fit them in their two bedroom apartment. So when his boss snubs his request for a bonus and skips over him for a promotion, Sandy is only too happy to join his co-workers in a new business venture which promises a top-ranking position and a salary to match.
However, just as things start looking up for Sandy, his credit cards start getting declined and he gets pulled over by the cops. And to top it all off, there is a warrant out for his arrest. Turns out there is a woman in Florida (Melissa McCarthy) who just happens to have the exact same name and social security number as Sandy. Yes, you’ve guessed it, she’s stolen his identity and the Florida-based Sandy isn’t shy about running up bar tabs and getting into brawls.
With a mug shot of fake Sandy on police files, you would think that real Sandy would be in the clear. But in need of another 100 minutes of a plot, there’s appears to be jurisdiction complications that send the real Sandy on a road trip down south to apprehend the fake Sandy.
Bateman and McCarthy are the real saving grace of this movie as the formulaic and unimaginative script leaves a lot to be desired. Bateman’s understated wit gives McCarthy the platform to be outrageous and physically hilarious.
However what the script lacks in material McCarthy makes up for with her committed performance during which she utilises her vast comedic talent. McCarthy conjures up just the right amount of charm and naughtiness to ensure you laugh at least a couple of times – and I’m guessing these could be at her improv moments.
There are a plethora of well known faces popping up throughout the films including McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone – watch out for him in the motel scenes. Robert Patrick plays an angry bounty hunter while Braking Bad’s Jonathan Banks plays a gang leader and Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet is somewhat of a love interest. And rapper T.I. makes for a very bad gangster.
The funniest moments of Identity Thief are definitely between Bateman and McCarthy, their comedic chemistry and timing is spot on. Is it enough to spend money on a ticket? I’d say wait for the DVD or even better, the Sunday Night Movie.