By AUSTIN LYNCH
WITH the prevalence of credit cards, debit cards and online transactions in everyday life our personal security is one thing that we must always be aware of.
As we bank, buy and bid online a huge amount of our personal information, often including our date of birth, address and place of work are out there – if someone knows how to copy, or even steal them.
This very serious issue of identity theft is given the light, humourous treatment in a film of the same name, ‘Identity Theft’, which has just gone on nation-wide release.
Directed by Seth Gordon the film’s central character Sandy Patterson, played by the always likeable Jason Bateman, has his identity stolen by Florida woman Diana (Melissa McCarthy) which plunges Sandy’s life into absolute chaos.
Sandy is an ordinary guy who works hard, pays his bills and looks after his young family.
While at work Sandy gets a call on his mobile to confirm his hair appointment at a salon in Florida. Sandy doesn’t live in Florida – and has never been, so he assumes this is some kind of mistake.
But later the same day, after filling his car with petrol his debit card is declined – and he watches as the shop attendant cuts up his card in front of him.
He now realises something is very wrong.
Things go from bad to worse for Sandy as he is informed by police he’s missed a court appearance in Florida, and police tell him his identity has been stolen by this woman – who now goes under the name of Sandy Patterson.
When police tell Sandy there’s nothing they can do unless the identity thief was in Denver with them he takes the decision to travel to Florida and hunt this woman down himself – and bring her back to Denver so he can get his life back.
Sandy has a head start in that he knows when and where the other Sandy has a hair appointment, and he intends to be there waiting for her.
After initially giving Sandy the slip, and taking off in his hire car, Sandy tracks Diana back to her house which is full of goods she has bought with other people’s credit cards.
No sooner have they begun arguing than someone shoots down the door -apparently Diana pissed off a drug dealer – and this gives Sandy some leverage to coax her to come back to Denver with him to sort all this out.
What follows is an odd-couple style road movie which while unremarkable contains a few laughs as Bateman’s Mr Straight and Sensible is forced to contend with McCarthy’s craziness.
Jason Bateman has been very busy recently and this film comes from the same people who brought us the very entertaining ‘Horrible Bosses’ from last year – a film which also starred Bateman.
While ‘Identity Theft’ tries to be mad-cap and all action it’s the presence of McCarthy and Bateman which carry this film along.
Some of the pair’s adventures along the way will seem rather unlikely, and maybe even not that amusing but the film is nothing but predictable and you always know where this is going to end.
Laughs all the way it may not be but ‘Identity Theft’ is fairly harmless fun – as far as that goes.