Identity Thief – Review

“Look at her, she’s like a hobbit. I can handle her. I’m going after Bilbo!”

I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical walking into this one. The trailers gave the impression that the movie would be full of hilarity (see above quote), but so do many others, and we’ve all been deceived by a preview at least once…

You can imagine my pleasure when I found that my previous experiences wouldn’t be continued, at least in Identity Thief. Sure, there were some moments that weren’t as funny as they were probably meant to be, and some of the humor edged a bit too raunchy for me. Overall, though, I would give the movie a 7/10. Possible, minor spoilers ahead.

If it was just another slap-stick comedy, it would have received a much lower rating, but the redeeming factor about Identity Thief was Melissa McCarthy’s character, Diana. McCarthy took the script, which could have been so ordinary, and gave more depth to the antagonist. As the film progresses, we’re able to understand why Diana chose to act the way she did, even if the back story was a bit cliche – abandoned as a baby at a police station, with no name. In the end, there’s quite a bit of sympathy gathered for the “villain”, particularly after she shows that she isn’t as cold-hearted as first presented.

Another part of the movie that deserves applause is the fact that the characters receive consequences for their actions, in the end. With so many films these days, it seems that the characters, despite their actions and the negative repercussions, never seem to receive any true punishment or justice for what they’ve done. Some contrived plot to escape is formed, and then everyone is left with a content feeling that at least no one is suffering. Identity Thief doesn’t fall trap to that happy ending. Diana eventually pays the price of committing fraud, but the movie still ends on a positive, uplifting note.

Of course, there were some aspects of the movie that hit a sour note. As mentioned before, some of the scenes were more lewd that I had hoped, but I suppose that’s what I signed up for with a rated R movie. There’s a certain bathtub scene, in particular, that was superfluous, and did nothing to advance the plot at all. Some of the dialogue fell flat, as well, but sometimes that’s unavoidable in a movie like this.

In the end, I thought it was worth the money I spent. It won’t be one that you can watch repeatedly and still laugh at the jokes, but it was enjoyable to watch. Just don’t walk into the theater expecting a ground breaking or meaningful movie. Accept that it’s ridiculous fun, and you’ll have no problems.

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