The Seth Gordon directed Horrible Bosses was one of the funniest movies of 2011. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, especially if you’ve ever been trapped in a job working for someone you could not deal with. It is truly funny, and earns the R with both harsh language and raunchy situations.
This year marks the second feature film directed by Seth Gordon, Identity Thief. This movie is not quite as funny as Horrible Bosses, but has a lot more heart.
Jason Bateman stars as a hapless Denver businessman, Sandy Patterson, who is on the brink of a new job that will help to solve the financial problems he and his pregnant wife are facing (they already have two daughters).
Suddenly, he begins to run into difficulties as a woman, Diana, in Florida steals his identity and starts to run up insane charges on his credit cards (she buys a jetski, and parks it in her front yard). Because the Denver police won’t go down to Florida to pick her up, Sandy decides to go down to Florida and pick her up, bring her back, convince her to talk to his boss so he can get his job back, then secretly have the police waiting to arrest her. He gets her, and hijinks ensue: they have to avoid hitmen, a bounty hunter, a randy car salesman, and her ongoing and attempt to flee.
The trick to any comedy, especially one that has only two main characters, is a bunch a strong supporting funny characters. The cast in this movie is funny and makes the most of the time they have.
· Melissa McCarthy as Diana is, once again, hilarious. The character of Diana is way over the top and ridiculous, but does get some moments to have genuine touching scenes that made me again appreciate how talented she is, and what she is capable of. Keep your eyes open for her husband, Ben Falcone, with a great cameo as a hilarious desk clerk at a hotel.
· Jason Bateman is always funny as the ‘straight man’ in the midst of comedy nonsense. If you don’t believe that, go back and watch some Arrested Development. He does a great job in this movie, is absolutely believable as a regular guy who has to take this crazy trip to make sure his family will be provided for. The touching scenes between Bateman and McCarthy are fantastic – and prove that both of them have abilities beyond raunchy comedies. However, they are at their best with the all-out improve comedy sequences, and again – I cannot wait for the gag reel.
· Amanda Peet has the small role of Patterson’s wife. She’s pretty good in the few scenes they have. I haven’t seen her onscreen in a while, and I liked her quiet subtle performance in this.
· Robert Patrick inexplicably shows up as a bounty hunter, who comes off as a cross between Dog the Bounty Hunter and Ralph Garmin’s Dog the Bounty Hunter rip-off on the Joe Schmo Show. He is actually very funny, and a little scary, as he attempts to hunt down Diana.
· Jon Favreau steps in as Patterson’s boss, who really could have fit into Horrible Bosses.
· T.I. and Genesis Rodriguez play cartel hitmen that are after Diana. I wasn’t entirely clear on why they were after her – something about credit cards she sold them. They are both capable in this, and play scary and tough just fine. T.I. was actually surprising and might have potential in comedies, but man, so much Atlanta in his accent that he’s tough to understand.
· Morris Chesnut plays the Denver cop who won’t go down to Florida. He plays the charater very reassuring, while at the same time, doing absolutely nothing to help. It’s a small part, so he’s just fine.
· John Cho is a little underused as Patterson’s new boss. Knowing that he’s capable of truly hilarious over-the-top comedy, it’s a little disappointing that his character is so straight-laced.
· Eric Stonestreet might be the one who steals this movie. Yes, he’s funny (and Emmy nominated) on Modern Family. His turn in this as “Big Chuck” is fantastic, hilarious, and again – surprisingly touching!
All in all, I thought this was very funny. Again, not as funny as Horrible Bosses, and I’m sorry to keep comparing it to that, but it’s the only other thing this director has done. It’s funny, and has some really surprising touching moments. You’ll like it, you may not love it.7out of 10. Gained points for Robert Patrick – funny. Lost points for T.I. – I want him to do more comedies, but with a dialect coach. Gained points for the fight scenes between Bateman and McCarthy. Lost points for not letting John Cho be funnier. Lost points for not playing the gag reel over the end credits – come on people, always put the gag reel over the credits!!
Bonus Video 1: Horrible Bosses Gag Reel
Bonus Video 2: Ralph Garmin playing Jake Montrose on The Joe Schmo Show – you should be watching this show.
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews!