Blu-ray Review: Identity Thief

Identity Thief Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon | CAST: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Jon Favreau, Robert Patrick
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 6/4/2013 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98
BONUSES: gag reel, featurettes, digital copy
SPECS: R/UR | 112 min./121 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Identity ThiefWith Jason Bateman (The Switch) and Melissa McCarthy (TV’s Mike & Molly) headlining, it’s no surprise that Identity Thief is filled with gross-out comedy and silly antics, but what is surprising the movie’s heartfelt quality.

Identity Thief follows straight-laced family man Sandy Patterson (Bateman), who’s in the middle of a crucial job transition when he finds out his identity has been stolen and he’s being held responsible for the thief’s criminal actions. After he discovers that the police won’t find the thief due to cross-jurisdiction difficulties, Patterson takes the matter into his on hands.

He leaves his wife (Amanda Peet, Gulliver’s Travels) and drives to Florida and apprehends Diana (McCarthy) with plens to bring her back to his office to clear him name. On their road trip, they’re also chased by gangsters (T.I. of TV’s Boss and Genesis Rodriguez of The Last Stand) McCarthy conned and a bounty hunter (Robert Patrick, Gangster Squad) and get into a number of odd situations, including a raucous one-night stand with Big Chuck (Eric Stonestreet, TV’s Modern Family).

There’s plenty of laughs — more if you’re a fan of Bateman and McCarthy’s particular brand of schtick — but Identity Thief also has a lot of heart. McCarthy’s Diana has a deeper background than at first appears, and as any good buddy movie, a relationship builds.

A comedy like this isn’t known for its gorgeous cinematography, but the video does look great Blu-ray’s high-definition, so much so that you see perhaps a little too much of Stonestreet in the unrated edition.

The Blu-ray has a good collection of special features, the best of which are the brief gag reel and the “Skiptracer Van Tour” with Patrick in character giving viewers a tour of the inside of his well-equipped bounty hunter van. Among his tips and tricks are having plenty of extension cords so you can go to a Wal-Mart and use their power, “Like any good American should.”

The brief collection of alternate takes are various ad-libs with Bateman, McCarthy and others.

The making-of featurette is standard stuff, but we do find out that the movie was Bateman’s idea and the part of the thief was originally planned for a man. McCarthy was cast after Bateman saw her in Bridesmaids and loved her sense of humor.

Plus, there’s a featurette on the movie’s comedy, “Scene Stealing: Capturing the Humor of Identity Thief,” which shows the actors, including Jon Favreau, doing what they do best.

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.