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Movie Review: Identity Thief

by Marc Price
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It’s not funny. That’s really all that needs to be said about this awful, awful movie. It’s not funny in the slightest. The jokes range from stupid, to awkward, to flat out insulting and I’m ashamed for the very well qualified actors who have their names and their faces attached to this mess. It’s offensive that the producers thought something like this could actually succeed in theaters and it’s incredibly disheartening that they were proven right by audience turn out. I’m flat out embarrassed for the writer. I mildly dislike the catering company contracted for the length of production.

Everything about this movie is bad. Everything. This is a no stone unturned situation. Nothing about this movie works  on even the most basic level. At least some movies that don’t work out have a level of unintentional humor to them. Nope, not here, this movie is just a boring, grueling, two hours of incomprehensible character choices, plot holes, inconsistencies, and overall bad storytelling. It could be made up for if it was actually funny but it isn’t because someone decided to mine for jokes in the most anti-joke places they could. “Oh look, someone just had their life stolen out from under them and someone is spending their life savings! What a riot!” It’s almost meta in the fact that at one point the main character realizes they had a stupid idea, but you can instantly tell that he had to say that because writer wrote himself into a corner. Which is weird to even admit considering the entire basis for the movie doesn’t make any sense and at any point you can point towards a contrivance that keeps the story grinding along at the speed of molasses rolling uphill in winter. I mentioned something about plot contrivance in “Clear History,” and that actually had a decent enough excuse for it. Here, jeez, it’s baffling how this movie was put together.


Jason Bateman is some guy, who we are constantly reminded is the nicest most hardworking white middle class blob of boring relatability who stupidly gives his social security number to a stranger on the phone and as a result has his identity stolen. Since things like faxes, emails, telephones, and other such things apparently don’t exist, he has no way of informing the people he works for that his identity was stolen and that nothing on his record is true. Hence, a half-baked plan to travel to Florida, find the person who stole his identity, and bring her back to have her confess directly. Melissa McCarthy is some lady, who stupidly gives useless stolen credit cards to organized crime and as a result is chased down by random people. Through it all they meet idiots, jerks, and twits; all of whom, through a combination of ignorance and idiocy, make things unnecessarily difficult for our main character, some guy. Of course when your master plan is to travel to another state to effectively kidnap a criminal and travel back again, all dependent on an idea of establishing trust, you might have a few screws loose to start with. Does that seem needlessly confusing to you? That’s because it is! Thank you movie for trying so hard to make sense of a plot that doesn’t make any sense.


First off, this crime occurs across state lines. My minimal knowledge of criminality leads me to infer that this would then be a federal crime, not something that would just be passed between two local police departments to settle, which is one of the main reasons for this whole story occurring. Second, the first scene where some guy and some lady meet, is when they crash their cars into each other. Right there, he has her! Even if he does scare her off by needlessly confessing who he is, by trading information with her after the crash he knows where she lives. Thirdly, there is no reason he can’t go to the police because a direct confession means absolutely nothing when criminal records are a thing and it’s already verified at the beginning that he is being framed. When the story hinges on so many things just being taken at face value, all you’re doing is piling boxes of TNT onto a train about to derail. When your story falls apart before it’s even started what’s the point of going along for a ride that’s going nowhere but down? This movie is a boring, unfunny, insulting, awkward, cringe worthy, festering stew of bad. Please don’t watch it… or do, I mean, I’m not your boss or anything.

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Ellie Wilkin December 6, 2013 - 6:26 am

My boyfriend watched this on a 9 hours flight we took in the summer and he was laughing embarrassingly loud. I blame the boredom and cabin fever he was probably suffering because no one of sane mind would find this movie THAT funny surely?!

Tamara Winfrey November 30, 2013 - 10:58 am

I have to agree with the reviewer. You could drive a truck through the plot holes, and they didn’t just forget the funny. They washed it down the garbage disposal.


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