Identity Thief (2013) Review

I’ll admit, I do think it’s kind of sad that this is the first 2013 movie I’ll be reviewing, but things kind of turned out that way.  This wasn’t really a high priority movie, but a friend of mine really wanted to see this and so I went and watched it with them.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to watch anything—not that anything really good has been out in theaters lately—and so I didn’t protest too much.  (As a side note, eventually I do want to get around to reviewing all the old movies I’ve already watched in the past…it’s just a matter of finding the time and gathering the energy to write them.)

Identity Thief

I’m not quite sure if I can accurately describe how I feel about this movie, but I’ll try.  I did laugh at some parts, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I was laughing because it was funny.  Sure, some parts were definitely funny, but then there were other parts where I was just kind of laughing…I know that sounds confusing.  There’s Korean slang (기가막혀) for what I’m feeling that’s perfect to describe what I’m trying to say, but I can’t seem to think of an English equivalent.  The kind of humor that causes a speechless reaction?  That might not make any sense or sound too extreme.  Sorry, I tried, haha.

I think I would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if it just stuck to being a comedy.  However, this movie seems to try to get the audience to sympathize/empathize with the character committing the fraud, and that’s where the movie just didn’t work for me.  It also tries to make you feel like committing this type of crime is okay in certain circumstances, like if the person you’re cheating is not a very nice person to others.

The film also paints the police force in a pretty bad light—making it seem like cops won’t do their job unless citizens do all the leg work for them.  Now while I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen, because I don’t deny that there are bad apples that fall from every tree, it just seems hard to believe that a police department would encourage someone to go after the thief themselves.  Not to mention for the most part, credit card companies are a lot better about protecting against identity theft these days than in the past.  So the whole premise seemed kind of outlandish to me, but of course this is meant to be a comedy so in a way, anything goes.

Which is probably why the movie only bothered me when they tried to mix comedy with teaching values.  Like feeling sorry for and forgiving an identity thief that’s stolen from others for years before kind of meeting her match, and suddenly she’s feeling terrible and repentant.  I’m all for forgiveness and second chances, but not so much if the character is only trying to be better because they finally got caught and cornered without any other kind of escape plan.

And that’s only half of the whole twisted-morals thing this movie has got going on, but I’m not going to get too into it.


I wouldn’t say it’s uninteresting, but I definitely could have waited for this to come out on DVD.  If you like raunchy humor and you really enjoyed movies like Bridesmaids (2011), The Hangover (2009), etc., then you’ll probably disagree with me completely and think this movie was totally worth the ticket price and a complete riot.  For everyone else, I’m not saying you should pass it by completely, but you might enjoy it better just watching it at home.

11 responses to “Identity Thief (2013) Review

  1. Good review Rae. I didn’t really hate this with a burning passion but I agree this is definitely not original, not very funny, and wit is sacrificed for desperate attempts at humor.

    • Yeah…it’s like they’re trying so hard to be funny they just forgot how to be naturally funny. Also, I think people expect a certain type of humor, especially in the last few years. Me? I like the simple lame humor best, though I feel like that type of humor is really not as appreciated these days.

      • Yeah same here. Me and the kids watched Here Comes the Boom last night, which was pretty funny. I’m a big Kevin James fan and certainly feel that he is underrated.

      • YES. I love Kevin James!! He’s had some misses but I think he is hilarious!! And I could not stop laughing in Here Comes the Boom. I just watched it again with some friends for a DVD rental movie night a couple weeks back. They loved it too.

  2. Pingback: Identity Thief Review: Will Also Steal Your Valuable Time | Rorschach Reviews·

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