The first big comedy of the year, Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy and directed by Horrible Bosses helmer Seth Gordon, drops today, and reviews so far are overwhelmingly negative. Identity Thief, as of this writing, has received a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 41/100 Metacritic. Reviewers have come to a consensus that Bateman and McCarthy aren’t the problems with the movie and that the laugh-light, undisciplined script is its greatest weakness. Critics have singled out Bateman and McCarthy’s performance, in particular, making the two leads the only subjects of praise in the movie amongst critics. The Seattle Times sums it up, writing “Identity Thief is mostly noteworthy for reminding us that McCarthy’s talents can, indeed, carry a comedy. It’s too bad that it had to be this one.”
Comparisons to other road trip buddy movies abound, with Movie Nation opining “While the filmmakers might have shot for Midnight Run, but settled for Due Date, they wound up only achieving Guilt Trip.” Richard Roeper agrees, “It wants to be Midnight Run meets Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but it carries little of the dramatic heft and real-world semi-plausibility of those much superior efforts.” While Identity Thief isn’t faring so well with reviewers, it’s the last big comedy coming out until Steve Carell’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone hits the theaters over a month from now. If you’re looking for a good Melissa McCarthy movie, it might be a safer bet to wait around for The Heat, the buddy cop feature she made with Sandra Bullock and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig that comes out this June and looks to be one of the comedy highlights of 2013.