Friday, February 8, 2013

Identity Thief

Melissa McCarthy’s genius is allowed out only for short walks in the disappointing new comedy “Identity Thief.” The rest of the time (an overlong 107 minutes), she’s chained to one of the more preposterous, logic-defying plots in recent memory, in which law enforcement in one state shrugs off felonies committed in another, abductees escape from captivity with the ease of Houdini, and the most important people in the life of Jason Bateman’s Sandy Bigelow Patterson treat him as if they’ve never met.
McCarthy sneaks in a few big laughs – and the bland Bateman earns one or two with his unblinking earnestness – but I and her other fans will have to wait for a stronger vehicle that more fully exploits her game physicality and improvisational daring. When she’s called upon to make a hairpin emotional turn late in the picture, in a dressed-up dinner with Bateman, believe it or not – she nails it.

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