By Lynne Martin
IDENTITY THIEF (2013) starring Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, and John Cho seems to periodically forget that it’s even a comedy. Any moments in this movie worth mentioning are small glimpses of drama where McCarthy is finally able to break out of her comedic chains and show us that she’s quite good at swaying an audience. Most everything else feels overdone, or somehow even forced.
We join Bateman and McCarthy as they embark on a buddy-comedy type road film. Choosing to track down the woman who has stolen his identity and thoughtlessly ruined his credit rating; Bateman risks it all to locate the con artist whose fraudulent activities are threatening to ruin every aspect of his life, right down to his family’s financial security and his employment.
Reminiscent of PLAINS, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES (1987) and DUE DATE (2010), this is a story of personal growth and the journey to find out exactly where one’s priorities lay. Laced with plenty of violence disguised as comedy, IDENTITY THIEF reminds me of a WWF wresting match where everybody is hit, but nobody’s ever hurt. Definitely more wincing than laughter heard from the assembled audience.
I would have liked to see a little less slapstick, and a lot more drama. Bateman, a proven straight man, plays well against McCarthy. IDENTITY THIEF isn’t really that bad a movie; it’s just not nearly as good as it could have been. NOTE: A great film for ‘that friend’ who still thinks that glittery blue eye shadow is a fashionable look.
McCarthy’s rendition of ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis actually made be snicker aloud. Directed by Seth Gordon, R. 111 mins, Comedy, Crime, ** 2 stars out of 5.
Escape from Planet Earth bright and colorful
I’m pleased to note that ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (2013) starring Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jessica Alba is a Canadian, 3D computer animated movie. Nice to see the maple leaf symbolically waved over our theater seats every now and then as the usual fare in animation is largely comprised of U.S. productions.
Proudly representing Baab, a planet of blue aliens, our muscle-bound hero Scorch Supernova takes an impromptu break from his latest endorsement deals to respond to a SOS from one of the most dangerous planets in the galaxy. Secretly assisted by his brother, an engineer back at mission control, the unlikely pair finds they are once again fighting for their own lives and those of everyone they love back on Baab.
Positive lessons are presented throughout the story on family loyalty, and the benefits of teamwork. An extremely bright and colorful movie, this film is going to play well on any format, including the family’s I-Pad for long car trips. Originally screened in 3D, my three year old male guest was tickled with the movie, but wasn’t impressed with the required plastic glasses (even though the theater did provide child-sized eyewear).
I just loved the stab at online dating and the brief history lesson on earth’s evolution. Both are good examples of interesting screen writing. NOTE: 3D viewing is not necessary to enjoy this movie. Directed by Cal Brunker, PG, 89 mins, Animation, Adventure, Comedy, **** 4 stars out of 5.
Lynne Martin is an avid movie collector and a staunch supporter of sexual education. She currently resides in Alberta, Canada with her husband and their large extended family. For a complete list of her reviews and other works, or to leave a comment, please go to: www.lynnemartinbooks.com.
Tags: Brendan FraserCal BrunkerEscape from Planet EarthIdentity ThiefJason BatemanJessica AlbaJohn ChoLynne MartinMelissa McCarthyMovie ReviewsSarah Jessica ParkerSeth Gordon
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