Identity Thief review

You’ll feel like you’ve been robbed

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Seth Gordon first pinged on movie fans’ radar in 2007 with the inexplicably gripping and surprisingly hilarious The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters , a documentary about competitive arcade-game players.

His follow-up, Four Christmases (2008), proved as welcome as an empty cracker, but 2011’s underdog comedy Horrible Bosses won over wage-slaves worldwide to the tune of $209m.

Gordon’s scored another box office hit with his latest, though it’s sadly further proof that he’s an erratic talent.

Horrible Bosses ’ Jason Bateman, in chronic eye-rolling mode, is a corporate drone named Sandy (there are even more snarky references to his “girl’s” name then you’d imagine) whose identity is stolen by a loud, obnoxious party girl named Diana ( Bridesmaids ’ Melissa McCarthy, whose dedication to manic unpleasantness is nothing short of heroic here).

For gimmicky movie-plot reasons, instead of just getting his bank to take care of it, Sandy hits the road to track down the credit-ruining doppelgänger himself. Once he does, they fight, scream, get drunk, have three-way sex with a cowboy and wrestle with snakes.

Essentially, it’s almost two hours of McCarthy hurling herself at the camera. Imagine Planes, Trains & Automobiles smashing headlong into Midnight Run , with one major casualty: the screenplay (writer Craig Mazin’s CV includes The Hangover Part II , Superhero Movie and Scary Movie 3 and 4 ; here’s hoping he brings his A-game to the upcoming Hangover threequel).

Certainly, the leads have chemistry, and McCarthy’s comic mugging is, if nothing else, energetic.

But the humour is so ham-fisted and by-the-book that before long watching it starts to feel about as much fun as actually finding out that some big-haired nut in Florida has hijacked your life.

A wasted opportunity: put the two leads in a movie that didn’t lazily rely on its high concept to do the work, and you’d really have something to laugh about.

Freelance writer

Ken McIntyre is a freelance writer who has spent years covering music and film. You'll find Ken in the pages of Total Film and here on GamesRadar, using his experience and expertise to dive into the history of cinema and review the latest films. You'll also find him writing features and columns for other Future Plc brands, such as Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.