July 23, 2013

identity-thief-jason bateman melissa mccarthy

Seth Gordon’s Identity Thief was definitely no Horrible Bosses.  Sure, it was funny and quirky, but to watch this film with the expectations that it will be something equally, if not funnier than Horrible Bosses, will lead to a giant letdown.  Identity Thief stars, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, do a superb job at playing these characters to their best of their comical abilities, but there is such thing as something being “too ridiculous” and Identity Thief manages to go there.  Funny?  Yes.  Hilarious?  Not so much.  I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the way the film was able to turn McCarthy’s character from an obnoxious criminal to a relatable and heartwarming troubled woman.  Hit the jump for my review of Identity Thief on Blu-ray.


While I watched the film, I kept getting the sensation that I had seen it before.  Then it hit me, in a way Identity Thief is just a washed out and less funny version of Due Date — two very different people embark on a cross country road trip, while the more level-headed character has to deal with the annoying habits of his troublemaker companion.  In this case,  budget-conscious Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman) — talk about an unfortunate name — gets the short end of the stick, when he discovers that Diana, a woman in Florida (Melissa McCarthy), has stolen his identity and has virtually left him in ruins.

The premise of the film is simple, Sandy must bring the woman who is usurping his identity back to Colorado in order to clear his name and save his job.  As expected, things don’t go as planned, not only because Diana refuses to accompany him and face jail time but because being a keen delinquent has earned her, her share of enemies.  While it was nice to see familiar faces like those of Eric Stonestreet and Robert Patrick, the situations that Sandy and Diana get themselves into as the film progresses get so ridiculous that they eventually stop being funny.

The film does gradually take a turn toward the sentimental, once Diana’s motives become clear.  At the end of the day, Identity Thief can only be described as a road-trip comedy with heart.  It’s impossible not to feel bad for Diana and relate to her in some way.  It’s a film that shows that even the scummiest of criminals have feelings and you just can’t help but root for her.  Having seen the film in theaters when it first came out, I can attest to the fact that parts of this film are only laugh-out-loud funny on the first viewing — it’s not one that you can watch over and over and laugh every time, which is pretty unfortunate.


Choose Version of Movie 

  • The disc gives you the option of choosing to view the Theatrical Version or the Extended Version, which in this case is the “unrated” edition.

Gag Reel (40 seconds) 

  • This segment is way too short, which makes me wonder why they even bothered to include it on the disc.  Gag reels are my favorite thing about movies and TV shows, which is the reason I was bummed to find out it was only 40 seconds long.  On the bright side, I was surprised to learn how many of the scenes were actually done on green screen.

Alternate Takes (5 min.) 

  • As the title states, this segment includes about 12 different versions of scenes that were ultimately changed for the film.  They contain saucier language and dialogue as well as superb improv courtesy of McCarthy and Bateman.

The Making of Identity Thief (~17 min.) 

  • The cast and crew talk about how the idea for Identity Thief was born, meeting for the first time to discuss the film, and how the actors brought the characters to life.  The featurette also delves into the individual characters, costumes, props, and stunts of the film.

Scene Stealing: Capturing The Humor of Identity Thief (~7 min.) 

  • The cast and crew talk about the craft of being funny, using improvisation, and riffing off each other to make scenes more natural.

The Skiptracer’s Van Tour (3 min.)

  • Robert Patrick talks about his character, the skiptracer.  He explains his character’s job and gives us a tour of his vehicle of choice — a brown van he likes to call “the rolling turd.”  This segment made me laugh harder than the actual movie.


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