Melissa McCarthy stole scenes as a supporting character in “Bridesmaids” and other films, leading to her first lead role as a bold “Identity Thief.” But her fans will feel robbed in this Miami-to-Denver road comedy. Still, I was impressed by one interstate chase-and-crash action scene and with a handful of vicious slurs directed toward Diana (McCarthy) whose real name is Dawn, if the fingerprinting of foundlings was indeed a practice in Wisconsin in the 1980s. Mostly, she goes by Sandy Bigelow Patterson, a name that belongs to Jason Bateman’s character, an accounts processor who makes 50K but saved $14.03 last month. Diana calls, claiming to offer a “free total protection plan” against fraud. All she needs are a few fiscal particulars. In a flash, his credit tanks. In Florida one “Sandy Patterson” is wanted by cops, a skiptracer and enforcers for a drug lord. Real Sandy tracks down fake Sandy and drives her home to restore his professional standing. McCarthy’s signature vulgar streak is squandered. With Amanda Peet, John Cho, Morris Chestnut, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, Robert Patrick, Jon Favreau. 111m. (Bill Stamets)
“Identity Thief” opens Friday.