Identity Thief (Movie Review)

Horrible Bosses’ Jason Bateman and Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy lead the cast of Identity Thief, an all-star comedy in which a regular guy is forced to extreme measures to clear his name.  With everything to lose after his identity is stolen, he’ll find out how crazed you can get trying to settle a bad credit score.  Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: The ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson”… and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S.   With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life.  And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.


Jason Bateman is Sandy Patterson. He is a hard working, by the book accounting executive.  He has a beautiful wife (Amanda Peet), and two children with a third on the way.  Life seems as though it couldn’t get much better when he is asked to leave his mediocre pay job for a much better paying VP position at a new company being created by his co-workers.  The new company is up and running quickly, and they run into their first snag when Sandy doesn’t pass his financial background check.   Although he pays his bills, Sandy’s credit is shot.  He even has a warrant out for his arrest from a city in Florida he has never been to.  The mug shot proves that Sandy is not responsible for the crime, it shows that his identity has been stolen – and thanks to his feminine name, a woman (Melissa McCarthy) is claiming to be him.

Sandy’s new boss gives him a week to get the situation straightened out so that he can keep his new job.  He packs his bags and heads for Florida where to track down the imposter.  Sandy plans to trick the woman down and convince her to accompany him to his office to tell his boss what she has done.  Covertly, he will arrange it so the police are able to hear her confession and put her away.  Sandy learns that the imposter will not go easily.  With more dangerous people after her, she agrees to accompany him on the long road trip home.  Along the way, they learn a lot about each other and after a night with his wife and kids, it’s questionable if Sandy will turn in the identity thief.

I’ve seen a lot of controversy surrounding this film, specifically with another reviewer commenting on Melissa McCarthy’s weight.  The film is silly, and doesn’t ignore the fact that she is probably twice Jason Bateman’s weight.  They actually make fun of the fact that he can run faster than her (as she states..like a Kenyan).  She is a big, bold woman that wears a lot of makeup and always says what’s on her mind.  The fact that she is a large woman is definitely a part of the script.  I might have had a problem if it had been a large woman playing a part clearly written for a petite actress.  I imagine Melissa McCarthy is who the writer had in mind for the role all along. 

I went into this film with zero expectations.  I didn’t expect Oscar worthy performances, or a particularly clever script so I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed my time in the theater. It’s funny, silly, and touching at times and it doesn’t require the viewer to put much thought into it.  Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are both well cast in their roles.   Identity Thief is by no stretch of the imagination plausible, but that doesn’t make it less enjoyable for this reviewer.  I expected a complete waste of time and was surprised with an hour and fifty one minutes of entertainment.


2 Responses to “Identity Thief (Movie Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I thought I would love this film, but I absolutely hated it and wanted my money back. She turned way too quick and it felt like I was watching a heart warming drama or something. The excessive use of language for no reason at all was a complete turn off for me too.

  2. Jami Ferguson

    My expectations couldn’t have been lower for this one – but I enjoyed it. The language didn’t bother me. No surprise it’s not for everyone.