Film review: ‘Identity Thief’
Wed, Feb 6, 2013 (4:41 p.m.)
Melissa McCarthy is suffering from Zach Galifianakis Syndrome. After her scene-stealing (and Oscar-nominated) supporting turn in Bridesmaids, she became a hot Hollywood commodity, and she’s been shoved into a lead role in Identity Thief without much consideration as to whether her onscreen persona warrants the screen time. The result is very similar to the Galifianakis vehicle Due Date, right down to its clichéd story about a mismatched pair thrown together on a cross-country road trip, who at first despise each other but eventually develop friendship and mutual respect. In this case it’s Jason Bateman as an upstanding family man and McCarthy as the con artist he tracks down after she steals his identity. The contrived setup doesn’t make much sense, and the movie throws in far too many extraneous antagonists and dead-end plot detours, none of which are entertaining. McCarthy ends up more grating than funny, and her character’s redemption arc is completely hollow. Maybe she’d have better luck teaming up with Zach Galifianakis.