Identify Thief and Muppets Go Into Our Ash Film Canister

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Miss PiggyMelissa McCarthy

We tried. Forgive us, but we tried. Our general rule of thumb in doing movie reviews is that we avoid taking an axe to a bad movie. If a film causes us to crave a banana daiquiri after 15 minutes, we shut off the television and chose not to do a review.

Our initial sense of what will give us the heebie jeebies is well honed after many years. We knew there was trouble lurking in movies like Identity Thief and Muppets Most Wanted. We never made it to the end.

Light-hearted frivolity is something we enjoy, but the wit of Noel Coward and Blithe Spirit is not much found nowadays at the cinema. It’s better to go to the archives and call up on demand some chestnut made when granny’s granny was a girl. These were pleasant films on some level, we suppose. Our crotchety demeanor stopped us dead in our video tracking.

Identity Thief stars a charming actress, but her Rubenesque figure has forced her into doing movies that require mugging and slapstick. Melissa McCarthy still manages to be likeable even when playing amoral slugs like the woman who steals Jason Bateman’s unisexual name (“Sandy”) and parades around as Miss Sandy.

This turns Bateman into a stalker, even more unattractive than the thief. One supposes in a politically correct era, we should applaud a movie wherein male and female clobber each other with lack of restraint. No one called this movie sexist, glorifying physical abuse. We just felt we wanted better.

And, as for our beloved Muppets, with their satiric take on movies, we may have exceeded the expiration date. Have we grown too old to appreciate their semi-self-deprecating humor? There were just too many uninspiring songs, though the lyrics were cute. Muppets Most Wanted will be left on our neighbor’s doorstep. We didn’t want them.

So, we don’t have a movie worth reviewing this week. We promise to do better next time—but only if the producers give us something to appreciate.

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