Thursday, February 26, 2015


The Quick Fix: Finally, Will’s movin’ on up like George and Wheezy…
The Bottom Line: Not long ago, it was Will Smith’s world and we were pretty darn lucky to be living in it (most of the time; Seven Pounds and After Earth, I’m lookin’ at you).  Big budgets, high concepts, good times – a lot of us were more than happy to get jiggy with our freshest of box office princes.  The good news with his latest release is our Will of old – the charismatic charmer, the men-wanna-be-him-ladies-wanna-be-with-him movie star – is back in relatively full force.  Focus may lack some of the depth and organic, free-flow zing of more masterful con-man material (The Sting, Catch Me if You Can, Ocean’s Eleven, Matchstick Men, etc) but it still has a modicum of slyness and works on its own glitzy, chemistry-rich and fast paced terms.  Effectively dropping you in to the whirlwind world of high-profile con-artistry, it’s an efficiently slick and lightheartedly carefree double-cross ride that rarely takes itself to serious.  Seriously, just see it, have fun – it’s not hard to do.  Plus, Smith and the not-at-all ugly and pretty darn talented, Margot Robbie, have a cool-as-the-other-side-of-the-pillow chemistry that fuels the picture to its flimsily farfetched yet still somewhat fulfilling finale.  Although not his best work to date, I’ll gladly take this stylistic fluff over another wild wild mess.

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, BD Wong and Gerald McRaney
Directed by: John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love and I Love You Phillip Morris)
Rated: R (for language, some sexual content and brief violence)
Running time: 105 minutes
Story: Nicky (Will Smith) is a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame—now an accomplished femme fatale—shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes racecar circuit. In the midst of Nicky’s latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop…and the consummate con man off his game. [Warner Bros.]

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