When it comes to judging comedies, there is only one question by which to judge the film: Was it funny?
And, it is a clear “yes” for “Identity Thief.”
Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is an average family man just trying to support his growing family. He gets a big break when his co-workers convince him to quit his job and join them in opening their own financial firm. However, he just might miss his golden opportunity after having his identity stolen, and ruined, by the seemingly sweet Diana (Melissa McCarthy).
So, our hilarious adventure begins when Sandy decides to go find Diana, and bring her in to clear his name.
The film is a pretty standard buddy/road trip comedy. Bateman is the straight-laced one, while McCarthy is the outrageous goofball.
The film starts off slow with a few introductory gags, and then quickly jumps into the action with some fights via overly exaggerated comedic violence, i.e. “The Three Stooges,” mixes in some random gang/mafia subplot, and then topped off with some sexual humor.
Now, if for any reason this film’s formula sounds vaguely familiar (besides the obvious ones), it’s because it’s written by “The Hangover Part II” writer Craig Mazin. And, much like Hangover, Thief is hilarious despite its weak story.
Bateman is still as fun as the day audiences were re-introduced to him on “Arrested Development.” Sandy is much like Michael Bluth, level-headed and just trying to take care of his family; but more importantly, they’re equally entertaining.
If there is only one reason to see this movie, McCarthy is it. The “Mike & Molly” star proves once again why audiences fell in love with her infectious personality in “Bridesmaids.”
She has perfect timing delivering jokes, but we get a lot more out of the actress this time around. Instead of being the slapstick clown on the film, McCarthy shows us the humanity behind the carefree con artist who finally meets one of her faceless victims.
McCarthy is equally moving as she is funny, realizing the pain she has caused many other victims. All of a sudden, the situation of the film is no longer a joke, but a very real situation for those who have been victimized.
Now, she might not get another Oscar nomination for her performance in Thief, but with the help of Bateman, McCarthy is sure to make you laugh.
So what if it’s not the most groundbreaking film? Just like “Family Guy,” Thief proves that as long as the jokes are strong, you don’t need much of a story to keep people interested.