Identity Thief: steals more groans than giggles

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Jason Bateman was great in Arrested Development. Melissa McCarthy was brilliant in Bridesmaids. Throw them together and you should have comedy pyrotechnics, but what you get is more comedy bronze than gold.

Bateman is mild-mannered accountant Sandy (WAY too many jokes about his ‘unisex’ name by the way) who has a wife and two daughters.

He’s the type who plays by the rules and is always overlooked. When McCarthy’s party girl Diana steals his identity, clocking up debts and a criminal record as Sandy, he’s forced (via some hard-to-believe complications) to motor cross-country to bring her in and clear his name.

There are moments of brilliance, for sure – the two leads share great chemistry as McCarthy’s energetic mugging bounces off Bateman’s smart-casual eye-rolling, but it’s not enough to make a good film great.

Director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Four Christmases) has a firm grasp of characters, making this road trip comedy more than a Road Trip knock off, but many developments, not least Sandy and Diana’s burgeoning friendship, never ring true and the film begins to outstay its welcome not far into its near two-hour runtime.

Identity Thief just about gets by on McCarthy and Bateman’s star power, but it’s just not quite the knockout comedy you might expect from this pairing, nor is it the film either of them really deserve.

More average than awesome.

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