Identity Thief

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This article is about the film. For the concept of identity theft, see Identity theft.
Identity Thief
Identity Thief Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Seth Gordon
Produced by Scott Stuber
Pamela Abdy
Screenplay by Craig Mazin
Story by Jerry Eeten
Craig Mazin
Starring
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by Peter Teschner
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 8, 2013 (2013-02-08)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
121 minutes (Unrated cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[2]
Box office $173,965,010[2]

Identity Thief is a 2013 American crime comedy film directed by Seth Gordon, written by Craig Mazin, and starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.[3] The film tells a story about a man (Bateman) whose identity is stolen by a woman (McCarthy).

Plot[edit]

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is an account processor who gets a call from a woman (Melissa McCarthy) telling him that someone had attempted to steal his identity. She tells him about an identity protection service and asks him for his name, date of birth, and social security number. Sandy gives her his information, but little does he know that his identity is actually about to be stolen. At work, Sandy gets called in by his obnoxious boss, Harold Cornish (Jon Favreau), and told to prepare bonus checks for the company partners worth $1.2 million each. As Sandy goes to do so, he gets a phone call saying he has an appointment at a salon on Friday in Winter Park, Florida. Despite his confusion, as he is in Denver, he puts it out of his mind when he has a conversation with his co-worker, Daniel Casey (John Cho), who tells him to meet him in the parking lot. In the parking lot with other employees, Daniel informs Sandy that he and the others are tired of working for Cornish while he and the partners get all the money, so they propose to start their own firm, taking most of the company's clients in Denver with them. Daniel asks Sandy if he'll join them, telling him he is the best at what he does and that he would be paid $250,000 per year if he joined. Sandy then agrees to join Daniel in the new business and later tells his wife who is overjoyed at the news.

Meanwhile, Diana, the woman who had originally called Sandy, ran up a bill to over $2,400 on a fake credit card she had made using the information Sandy had given her, including buying jewelry, a jet ski, and drinks for everyone at a bar in Winter Park, before getting arrested for drunkenly assaulting the bartender with a punch to the throat. The next day Sandy tries to get gas using his real credit card, but his card is declined and the gas station clerk cuts it up. He calls the credit card company and is told he's spent a lot of money in Florida. As this happens, he gets arrested. At the same time in Florida, Diana continues splurging with Sandy's money. At a police station, Detective Reilly (Morris Chestnut) tells Sandy that he missed a court date in Florida for assault. They pull up a mug shot of Diana from her arrest and determine she's stolen Sandy's identity. It gets worse at work when Daniel says cops are asking about him possessing drugs. Reilly and other cops show up and say a card with Sandy's name was used to buy drugs from a man named Paolo (Jonathan Banks). When told they can't do anything unless the identity thief was standing there in Denver with them, Sandy offers to go on his own, bring her there and get her to talk to Daniel to clear his name. Sandy's wife, Trish (Amanda Peet), finds out about the situation and knows Sandy's taking a risk, but he assures her he'll get the job done.

Sandy then travels to Winter Park where finds Diana at the salon and follows her. After he confronts her on the highway, she steals his rental car and leaves him with her now totaled Fiat (but takes the keys). After a call from his wife telling him that a debt collection company was looking for him for non-payment for the Fiat, he finds her address in the glove compartment and goes to Diana's house, which is full of merchandise and other stolen credit cards. The pair scuffle and Sandy attempts to handcuff her. Before Sandy can cuff her, two criminals named Marisol and Julian (Génesis Rodríguez and T.I.) are pounding at the door because Diana gave Paolo some bad credit cards. Marisol and Julian shoot the door open, but Sandy and Diana manage to escape out the back door.

Sandy tells Diana about his plan to redeem his name and Diana agrees to go along with him. Meanwhile, a skiptracer (Robert Patrick) is dispatched to track down Diana to obtain a substantial bounty. On the road, Diana reminds Sandy that the people at the airport would have an issue with both of their ID's reading "Sandy Bigelow Patterson" with the same birthdate, so flying back is out of the question and Sandy decides to get them back to Denver by driving. After traveling through several states, the skiptracer catches up to the pair and captures Diana. A chase ensues and she knocks him unconscious, and Sandy rams his van off the road. The van spears off the road and rolls over, but Diana survives with only a bloody nose despite standing up at the time of the accident. After the rental car is then destroyed when hit by a semi-trailer, they flee in the skiptracer's van with him tied with duct tape in the back, but it overheats on the road. They end up walking and almost stop to rest in the woods, but they encounter several snakes, one of which ends up in Sandy's pants, which he takes off and throws away. Another snake bites Sandy's neck and Diana accidentally knocks him unconscious while trying to beat the snake with a stick from their camp fire.

Sandy wakes up at a bus station; Diana says she carried him until she flagged down a truck to take them there. The next bus to Denver isn't due for three days. Sandy then remembers that he has some emergency money in his socks and buys a cheap car. When they stop for gas and realize they need more money, the two of them sneak into Sandy's old accounting firm with Sandy playing Cornish and coax an accounts processor into giving them access into restricted files, where they steal Cornish's identity to create new credit cards (the accounts processor discovers the scam but arrives too late to stop them). Meanwhile, the skiptracer goes to the bus station and threatens the employee unless he tells him where to find Diana. He then gets shot by Marisol who, along with Julian, has been tracking the pair throughout their journey. Having overheard the skiptracer's conversation they continue to pursue Sandy and Diana. Sandy and Diana finally arrive in St. Louis and stop at a hotel. Diana gets a makeover and has dinner with Sandy. Things get heated when he asks Diana what her real name is, but she admits she doesn't know it. She cries as the accounts processor comes in with cops, who arrest Sandy and Diana. Diana manages to un-cuff herself in the back of the police car, and then breaks the back windshield and escapes with Sandy. The skiptracer, who had captured Marisol and Julian by shooting them in the foot and locking them up in his trunk, eventually finds Diana and Sandy on the highway mid-escape, and hits Diana with his car, sending her flying behind it. Although the skiptracer ends up colliding his car with the cops, prompting a horde of police to arrest him, Julian and Marisol. After getting hit by the car, Sandy comes to her aid, but Diana comes to and defensively strikes Sandy in the throat. Diana and Sandy eventually get home, where Diana has dinner with Sandy's family and reconciles with them.

The next morning, Sandy is prepared to tell Diana that he'll go to work alone (and not turn her in), but she's gone. She left a note saying sorry. He goes into work, preparing to quit, but Daniel shows him that Diana is meeting with the police in an office. Detective Reilly tells Sandy he is no longer part of the investigation and Diana is taken away in cuffs. Before she leaves, Sandy asks her why, and Diana says she knew he wouldn't turn her in, but it was the right thing for her to do it herself. One year later, Sandy is celebrating another birthday, this time with his third kid joining them. The family goes to visit Diana in prison, where Sandy presents Diana with a birth certificate of hers that reveals that Diana's true name is Dawn Budgie (which Diana thinks is a "terrible fucking name"). Diana hugs Sandy and begins to walk away, until an officer tells her "Back in your cage, bitch", prompting Diana to strike her in the throat. Another guard tazes Diana in the back. Diana falls, but recovers seconds later. She then gets up, apologizes to the guard she struck, and walks back to go to her cell. The camera takes one more shocked look from Sandy, as he walks away.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was first conceived as a project with two male leads, but that changed when Bateman saw McCarthy in Bridesmaids and pushed for her to star alongside him.[4] Jerry Eeten wrote an early draft, later finished by Craig Mazin with a final rewrite by Seth Gordon. In January 2012, Gordon was announced as the director of the film with Scott Stuber producing through his Stuber Pictures banner with Bateman and Peter Morgan for DumbDumb.[5] In April 2012, John Cho, Clark Duke and Amanda Peet joined the cast.[6] In May 2012, Jon Favreau[7] and Morris Chestnut[8] also joined the cast. Naomi Velarde joined the cast in the last week of production.

Some filming took place in Atlanta at the 191 Peachtree Tower, around May 2012. Scenes were also filmed on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, at The Colonnade restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road in Morningside, and at Perimeter Mall.[9] Scenes from the film were also shot at Salon 2000 in Ansley Mall.

Release[edit]

In March 2012, a release date of May 10, 2013 was announced.[10] In June 2012, the release date changed to February 8, 2013.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. It currently holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 160 reviews. The site's consensus is: "Identity Thief '​s few laughs are attributable to Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, who labor mightily to create a framework for the movie's undisciplined plotline".[11] At Metacritic, the film has a score of 35 out of 100 based on 41 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[12]

R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film a positive review, rating it 3 out of 4 stars, praising McCarthy performance, writing that she "gives a performance leagues better than anything to be expected in a mainstream, early-in-the-year release, padding a typically sketched character with layers of hilarity and pathos. McCarthy owns 'Identity Thief' with a turn of limitless surprise, making an otherwise adequate comedy soar as a star vehicle. She is riveting in simply-penned moments of remorse and confession, adding tearful depth to her ace timing and formidable physical comedy."[13]

In his negative review, Rex Reed controversially made several references to Melissa McCarthy's weight, referring to her as "tractor-sized", "humongous", "obese", and a "hippo".[14][15] Film critic Richard Roeper said, "This just smacks of mean-spirited name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism."[16] On Twitter, Paul Feig, who directed McCarthy in Bridesmaids and The Heat, wrote, "I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself."[16] The review was referenced at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 by the host, Seth MacFarlane, who joked that Reed would review Adele for singing "Skyfall" at the ceremony.[17] In a column for The Huffington Post, Candy Spelling likened Reed's review to bullying.[18]

Box office[edit]

Despite the mostly negative critical reviews, Identity Thief opened at #1 at the box office with $34.5 million in its first weekend, which was considered remarkable by analysts since a major winter storm, often a concern with winter dump months releases, forced theater closings and kept moviegoers at home in the densely populated Northeast.[19] The film held the #2 spot in its second weekend, grossing $27.5 million and only dropping 20.5%.[20] It reclaimed the #1 spot in its third week opening.

Awards[edit]

Teen Choice Awards
Year Category Nominee Result
2013 Comedy Nominated
Actor Comedy Jason Bateman Nominated
Actress Comedy Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Best Villain Melissa McCarthy Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IDENTITY THIEF (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  2. ^ a b Identity Thief at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ 'Identity Thief' Trailer Hits With Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman (Video)
  4. ^ "Bateman McCarthy Team for ID Theft". 2011-08-15. 
  5. ^ "Seth Gordon set to helm Identity Thief". Variety. 2012-01-17. 
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (2012-04-17). "John Cho, Clark Duke in for Identity Thief". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ "Jon Favreau catches Identity Thief". Variety. 2012-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Morris Chestnut joins Identity Thief". 2012-05-24. 
  9. ^ "Jason Bateman filming in Atlanta". 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Identity Thief gets a release date". 2012-03-02. 
  11. ^ Identity Thief at Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved June 4, 2013
  12. ^ Identity Thief at Metacritic Retrieved May 29, 2014
  13. ^ Osenlund, R. Kurt (February 6, 2013). "Identity Thief - Film Review - Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ Reed, Rex. "Declined: In Identity Thief, Bateman’s Bankable Billing Can’t Lift This Flick out of the Red". New York Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Critic calls Melissa McCarthy 'tractor-sized', 'hippo' in review of new film", Today, February 7, 2013
  16. ^ a b "Melissa McCarthy Identity Thief Review Is "Mean-Spirited," Says Film Critic Richard Roeper". Us Weekly. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ Grant, Drew (February 25, 2013). "Rex Reed Got a Shout-Out in Last Night’s Oscar Telecast". New York Observer. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ Candy Spelling, 15 Minutes of Fame, The Huffington Post, February 19, 2013
  19. ^ "UPDATED: Winter Storm Nemo Fails To Stop 'Identity Thief' From Shattering Expectations". Boxoffice. February 9, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ Identity Thief (2013) - Weekend Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo

External links[edit]