There are a number of Jason Bateman films that are both funny and popular. One such movie is again showing its popularity as it finds itself #1 on the streaming service Hulu while also checking in at #4 on HBO Max.
Identity Thief stars Jason Bateman as Sandy Patterson, a man whose life is about to get turned upside down when his identity is stolen by Diana (Melissa McCarthy).
Sandy purchases identity theft protection over the phone from Diana and in doing so, reveals all his personal information. After a clash with his obnoxious boss Harold Cornish (Jon Favreau) at work, Sandy receives a seemingly random call from Florida confirming his salon appointment later that day. Though confused, Sandy brushes the call off as a mistake.
Wanting to finally get away from Cornish, Sandy accepts an offer by his co-worker Daniel Casey to join him a few others to start their own firm.
Happy with his decision, Sandy stops for gas on his way home from work. Sandy is once again confused when his credit card is first declined and then cut up. Wanting to know what’s going on, Sandy visits his credit card company where they inform him he has spent a lot of money in Florida. Again, confusion reigns for Sandy. It gets even worse when the cops arrive and arrest him.
At the police station, Sandy finds out that his identity has been stolen. To make matters more difficult for Sandy, Detective Reilly (Morris Chestnut) explains that Sandy’s name was also used in a drug purchase. He tells Sandy that since the crimes were not committed in Denver (where Sandy lives), they can’t do anything about it. Sandy then offers to finds Diana and bring her back himself.
When Sandy finally tracks down Diana, he does not get a warm welcome. Diana steals his rental car and when Sandy tracks her down for a second time at her home, he sees all the damage she has done, not only with his identity but many others.
Sandy is about to cuff Diana to bring her back to Denver when two criminals, Marisol and Julian, burst into Diana’s home, passing along the message that Paolo is very upset Diana gave him bad credit cards. Sandy and Diana are able to escape the criminals but while they do, a skiptracer (Robert Patrick) is put on their tail.
Sandy and Diana find themselves on the run and on the road. With their IDs being identical, they are unable to fly back to Denver, so they must travel from Florida to Denver by car. In pursuit, Marisol, Julian, and the skiptracer. The return home is not easy but along the way, Sandy begins to understand Diana a bit better. But their three tails are relentless, putting Sandy’s return to normal life in major jeopardy.
Identity Thief was not a critical darling. While both Bateman and McCarthy have found a lot of success on the big screen their pairing in this film was, critically speaking, uneven at best.
Seth Gordon directed the movie from a script written by Craig Mazin and while critics weren’t too fond of the film, audiences flocked to theaters to see it. Gordon, who had also directed Bateman in Horrible Bosses, was given a $35 million budget and was rewarded with $174 million at the box office.
Jason Bateman is a veteran of television. He began his career with a recurring role on the hit series Little House on the Prairie and then turned that into a recurring role on Silver Spoons. The first few years of Bateman’s career all revolved around TV as he also found time on shows like Knight Rider, Mr. Belvedere, St. Elsewhere, and The Magical World of Disney.
Jason Bateman’s first jump onto the big screen was in 1987 when he starred in Teen Wolf 2, the sequel to the Michael J. Fox comedy, Teen Wolf. The film didn’t do him any favors, so he continued appearing on the small screen in TV movies or series, his biggest being the sitcom Valerie, which lasted five seasons.
Jason Bateman moved in and out of features while also keeping a foothold on television. On the feature side, he grabbed small roles in films like Necessary Roughness and Breaking the Rules while back on TV he rolled through series such as Simon, Chicago Sons, George & Leo, and Some of My Best Friends.
Always solid and dependable, Jason Bateman finally made for himself when he was tapped to play the ever-responsible Michael Bluth in the sitcom Arrested Development. The series was a hit for Bateman and its amazingly funny cast that included Tony Hale, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, and the late Jessica Walter.
The success with Arrested Development opened bigger doors for Jason Bateman that he had no problem walking through. He would find more time on feature comedies such as Couples Retreat, The Switch, Horrible Bosses and its sequel, The Change-Up, Office Christmas Party, and Game Night.
Jason Bateman gained more critical acclaim when he not only starred in the hit series Ozark but for his directing duties on the series, for which he took home the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. While appearing on Ozark, Bateman also starred in the HBO series The Outsider, which was based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
If you’re in the mood for some harmless laughs, you can either head to Hulu or HBO Max and give Identity Thief a look.