Entertainment

Reel Reviews: Actors suffer from identity crises

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy kill 90 minutes in Identity Thief.  - Universal Pictures
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy kill 90 minutes in Identity Thief.
— image credit: Universal Pictures

Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman) is a mild-mannered businessman who has his identity stolen by Diane (Melissa McCarthy). With the police unable to help him and his employment dependent upon his financial reputation, Patterson must track down and drag back his identity thief.

We say, “Watch out for smooth talking telemarketers.”

HOWE: McCarthy good. Bateman great. Identity Thief, lousy piece of trash. I really like McCarthy. I think she is funny, but only in small doses like when she was in This is Forty. In this, as a lead role, I got tired of her, or maybe it was just her character. Bateman, on the other hand, seems to play the same roles in every movie that he stars in. I think he’s a good actor. I would just like to see him take a small step sidewards and take on a role that he can sink his teeth into.

TAYLOR: McCarthy can act. I think it’s likely that she’s a very good actor, maybe even great, but because she’s become popular at playing large and obnoxious she’s stuck cashing in on these type of roles. I noticed she could act in this film because her character is an actor who has to play roles to live the criminal life she leads.

When “Diane” (her character doesn’t know her real name) is playing sad, or hurt, it was different than when she was truly sad or hurt. I can foresee McCarthy showing us her greatness in the future, after she develops some scruples. Jason Bateman, on the other hand, is a tall glass of tepid water.

HOWE: Again like most comedy movies we see nowadays, they show all the best bits in the trailers. The movie companies get you hooked on what looks like a funny movie only to let you down big time when that moment arrives. (Just like the promise of England’s football team doing well at the World Cup.)

TAYLOR: Well, there was plenty of laughter from the audience, which was packed, but I wasn’t laughing. Admittedly, I have a stranger sense of humour. It takes a little more than throat punching and cussing to tickle my funny bone. In America this movie is rated R. In Canada it’s 14A, and I think this is a fitting rating. There’s nothing in this film a teenager couldn’t handle.

HOWE: Director Seth Gordon has brought us movies of the same calibre in the past: Horrible Bosses or Four Christmases, just to name a couple. If these little nuggets made you chuckle then Identity Thief could be right up your street. For me, I’ve had funnier trips to the dentist.

TAYLOR: On the whole, this film is full of unwarranted coincidences, cheap plot devices, stereotypes bordering on the level of television programming and reasons to laugh at the misfortunes of others. If that is your cup of tea, help yourself to a couple lumps. I thought it was just more Hollywood regurgitation.

—   Taylor gives Identity Thief 2 years in jail out of 5.

— Howe gives it 2 belt whips out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

OFF THE SHELF: Books will a-maze
 
Friendship forged through the blues
 
Valdy, Fjellgaard: The poster boys for touring return to the Okanagan
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
 
B.C. BellyFest set to gyrate Gyro Park in Penticton
 
The Best and Worst Movies To Watch This Halloween (VIDEO)
One-act play a comedy with some zingers
 
Okanagan Film Festival draws top films, big talent and many sleepless nights
 
Canadian folk legend Whiteley at the Dream Café

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.