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  • Identity Theft
    • Identity Theft
    • Runtime:90 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-16 08:00:48
    • Director: Alfredo Rates
    • Genres: Crime, Drama
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Identity Theft


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a drug deal goes bad an addict steals an ID card from some one he
thinks is dying and uses it to set up a better life for himself.
Complications arise when the man he thought died hasn't.

Low budget thriller/drama isn't much of anything. Its one of a growing
number of direct to video feature films that really don't have the
spark to become something worth seeing. Its not bad, but at the same
time its not good enough to really recommend it. Its the sort of thing
that if you ended up forced to watch it you wouldn't totally hate the
time spent but at the same time short if you have other choices they're
almost certainly going to be better.


The first comment summarizes the plot for this movie with numerous
details. I hesitated in continuing to view this film because of the
lines and delivery, along with the background acoustics were not as
professional as the big league films (the scene with Antonio Chavez at
the DMV is a prime example, with them sounding like they were in a
hollow echo box), but, hey, this wasn't a big leaguer. The theme of the
story held my interest, and after pushing aside the initial thwart of
what seemed like line-reading, I continued watching and was intrigued
to know how the story would unravel and the ending resolution. The
story content and the characters kept this film working. They kept it

This film wasn't a "message" movie, but it did contain a fair amount,
but not rammed down one's throat regarding drugs, violence and getting
clean. This movie covered a great deal of territory (drugs, money, sins
of the flesh, jealousy, ambition … and identity theft with a twist)
giving a blend of a parallel of lifestyles in reverse, but with
interesting depth and insights. These insights in how they were
conveyed were creatively well done. Raul Villarreal's role was a tough
one to pull off and put across believably, but he did well in the
various transformations of his character becoming a responsible and
compassionate young man in the face of so many adversities. In fact,
Antonio Chavez' role had many facets of twisting transformations as
well. Considering the short length of a movie's time, both actors
carried it off well and probably better than many famous actors could
manage. The one thing that bothered me was I kept thinking Raul
Villarreal was wearing a wig, which I found to be distracting (it
wasn't the little tail in the back of his head so much as his forehead
hairline and, well, it just looked like a 1980's cheap Japanese wig
with a bleached ponytail in the back instead of straight up). It was
distracting enough that it was harder to get into his character.
Perhaps it looked better on the big screen, but on my 30" crt TV
squinting at the DVD widescreen format, well, it just looked bad.
Despite this, I hope to see more of Raul Villarreal in future films …
he has more to offer given time.

Yes, there are great blockbuster movies to watch, but I have to say
that this movie has merit and should not be dismissed because of the
lack of funds to give it better props (at least expense was made on the
jacket art for the DVD, but alas, lacked English subtitles for the
hearing impaired). Low budget and rough edges, but it is worth the


I was tricked into seeing this after reading the plot outline, which
sounded interesting enough for me to check it out. It is as You might
already know about a illegal Mexican who needs an opportunity to stay
in the USA. This opportunity is given to him when a shot up drug dealer
with American citizenship dies right in front of him. Francisco (the
illegal) goes through his wallet and leaves with his ID, which he uses
to get a new life. In the meantime Diego – the dealer survives and is
sent to jail. After he gets out he tries to go straight, cause a woman
gets him to change his thinking and ultimately turns him into a better
person. Since there are two people with the same social security number
things get mixed up pretty bad – Both Francisco and Diego find
themselves neck deep in problems with the DMV, the IRS and revenge
thirsty gangsters. This movie has its problems, but it is ultimately
saved by 1.the story, which while not too original is clever enough,
2.by the characterization – while both leads are one-dimensional they
evolve and go from good to bad and vice versa; and 3. by the sometimes
witty dialogue. On the bad side the movie looks like a cheap
TV-production, the actors are either wooden or overacting (especially
Diego doing an rather laughable Scarface impersonation during the drug
deal). Since for most of them this is the first time in front of the
camera I am more than willing to forgive them. On the good side is the
characterization – Diego (sporting an awful Tony Montana haircut with
blond strains in it) comes out pretty enjoyable if hot headed, while
Francisco in the beginning is a really nice guy and becomes with the
time more and more cold and calculating. Despite the bad acting they
somehow manage to pull it off. I didn't have to question the motives of
any of the characters. The picture quality was pretty good for such a
low budget movie. I liked the gun-play too, people shooting without
aiming and actually not hitting much… reloading when they have to…
Diego for example is being shot through an armchair, and in any
Hollywood blockbuster the hero would find a pretty good cover behind
one of those… Diego also looks pretty confident wielding a handgun,
looks like the actor knows his guns. Francisco on the other hand is
more than hesitant when he has to resource to an firearm, being an
opportunist whose previous occupation was parking cars. I am not
usually a fan of low budget movies and I am seldom able to sit through
one… But this one didn't have me checking my watch hoping for the
credits. I can't say this was not predictable, but to be honest I
couldn't guess whether the lead will live or die in the end. I am maybe
giving "Identity theft" more credit than it deserves… Just know that
if You are not willing to forgive its shortcomings You will probably
hate it. I can't say I loved it, but it was OK and entertained me.

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