Bottom Line: Just as there was nothing GREAT and/or POWERFUL about last week’s OZ release, this dueling magician’s movie can in no way be categorized as INCREDIBLE. It can, however, proudly carry the moniker of likeably fun. There’s no breaking of new ground here (aside from it taking place in the world of magic) – it’s a comedy about burned out careers, benevolent brotherhoods, blossoming love and bursting egos – but, the deck is stacked in our favor with rousing supporting performances from Buscemi, Gandolfini and Arkin. Pitting Steve Carell’s cheesy, tan and hair sprayed, big-stage magician against Jim Carrey’s pseudo gothic, street-smart master of illusion – that’s where the magic happens… It’s a battle of dimwits and they both deliver in spades! Yes, it’s goofy and ridiculous – you might even think it looks awful – but it’s competently directed, amiably written and jam-packed with talented performances. It’s got a refreshingly infectious and subdued charm plus a well-meaning heart of silver that beats beneath its sequin-draped, well-waxed chest. Perhaps, for a comedy, it plays things a little too safe – but it definitely has enough tricks up its sleeve to entertain a crowd!
Starring: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini and Alan Arkin
Directed by: Don Scardino
Running time: 100 minutes
Story: Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt's growing ego. But lately the duo's greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they've grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show looks stale. But there's still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act-both onstage and off-if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place.(c) WB