Complete A-Z list

Identity Thief


Stars: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet, John Cho, T.I., Genesis Rodriguez, Robert Patrick, Morris Chestnut, Jon Favreau

Director: Seth Gordon

The likeable Bateman has a role that could have been played by anyone in this overlong low-grade comedy about identity theft that brings well-rounded comedienne McCarthy (the angry, foul-mouthed mother from This is 40) to leading roles, and has done well on its debut in the States.

It doesn't have an awful lot going for it, but there are a few touching moments towards the end.

Bateman plays an accountant with a loving wife (Peet) and two children, with another on the way. Cheesed off at bring overlooked by boss Favreau on the bonus front, Bateman joins a breakaway group to form a new firm, and life looks promising again until his credit card is hacked by McCarthy (beware of callers asking for your social security number!). He finds himself under arrest and threatened with the loss of his new job.

The new boss (Cho) gives him a week to sort things out, and Bateman, sprung from jail, determines to track down the hacker using his name and card. After one or two false starts, he captures his prey. But, on the long, incident-filled journey back from Florida to Colorado, the conwoman and conned man naturally bond, especially as two hitmen and a bounty hunter are on her/their trail.

It's good to see a big lady getting leading roles, but I'm not yet sure I'm buying what McCarthy is selling. Her next film, The Heat, in which she and Sandra Bullock play mismatched cops, should give us a better idea. Here, the script gives the lady, squawking like a plump hen, little option but to go right over the top, though she's not helped by the way various plot threads all fizzle out.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Mar 2013