Review: ‘Identity Theft’ (MA) *

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JERRY Eeton wrote a story, Craig Mazin converted it into a screenplay for Seth Gordon to direct.  The resulting film does none of them credit.

Which is regrettable, because lead actors Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy deserved better material to work with in what puts itself forward as a comedy but generated few (and those less than vigorous) laughs.

Bateman plays Sandy, a low-level Denver executive.  The cops arrive to ask him about credit card and other monetary malfeasances bearing his name in cities and States that he has never visited.  He tracks the perpetrator down to Diana (McCarthy) in Miami and persuades her to accompany him to Denver to face the music.

Blighted by a lifetime of emotional and material deprivations, Diana has developed a formidable array of street smarts.  Sandy, rather a nerd and a father of two girls with a third gestating, is his own worst enemy, slow to react to situations, putty in Diana’s hands.

They drive from Miami to Denver followed by a bounty hunter, two gambling debt enforcers and a trail of wrecked cars and unpaid bills.  Every time Sandy tries to pop his head up from the morass into which he is sinking, Diana pushes it back down.

Messrs Eeton, Mazin and Gordon may think their film funny but it’s more like Stupidity 101, which is not.  McCarthy uses her physical bigness with chutzpah, although in contemporary “fat lady” comedy, Australian actress Rebel Wilson has a more convincing CV.

At all cinemas

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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