Once upon a time, road movies were all about breaking free of social constraints. There were cool cars, a sex scene or two, some crashes, and a nihilistic ending (that’ll teach you to rebel and be free). Then along came Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Midnight Run, essentially conservative road films about restoring social order. Social angst was replaced by comedy. Identity Thief follows strongly in that tradition: A hard working family man takes the law into his own hands to literally bring a criminal to justice. We still have cool cars and crashes, however the ending is Frank Capra’s dream of a just America. That’ll teach you to think about rebelling and being free.
All this conformity is sweetened with pop culture references and gratuitous swearing. British Columbia counted 99 instances. There is also the obligatory sex scene, kinky enough to alarm American film classifiers at the MPAA, despite an almost complete lack of nudity, and they gave it an R rating. Canadian classifiers let the sex scene slide, and rated the film 14A (13+ in Quebec). BBFC, in the United Kingdom, issued a similar 15 rating.