I squirmed in my seat throughout “Identity Thief,” a colossally unfunny and misguided comedy starring two comic actors who deserve a lot better. Jason Bateman plays Sandy Patterson, a nebbishy Denver corporate accountant whose identity is stolen by Diana, a serial rip-off artist played by Melissa McCarthy in full cry. In order to restore his life, he tracks her across the country and attempts to bring her to justice.
What is it about road-trip movies these days that makes them so bad? I had only recently recovered from “The Guilt Trip,” and now this. (Rent “Something Wild” if you want to see the real road-trip deal.) The premise is far from funny, the way in which it is carried out is even less so (subplots include pursuits by bounty hunters and contract killers), and Bateman and McCarthy are left stranded onscreen while we are supposed to be chortling at slobber comedy and fat jokes. Your identity may remain intact after sitting through this thing, but afterwards you’ll feel like your pocket’s been picked. Grade: F (Rated R for sexual content and language.)