Focus - Slick as Hell but Easily Forgetable
Actors: Will Smith, Margot Robbie
Directors:Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writers :Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Thank God, Focus has a few nice things going for it.
For instance, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and beautiful photography (credit to Xavier Pérez Grobet).
On the minus side, the underlying story of a veteran con artist Nick (Will Smith, of course) and a small-time con gal Jess is not as engaging as I'd have wished it to be.
Slick WillyNicky is an ace conman, so smooth and so deft at his game that he can convince a victim that a warehouse is the Federal Reserve building.
When Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie) ends up as Nick's intern after one of her tricks targeted at him falls flat, the sexual and romantic sparks fly immediately.
But the romantic flame is extinguished quickly for reasons that are never clear.
There'd be no film if the flame in the romantic candle is not lit again. So whadayathink happens?
Merely Coasts AlongAlthough the setting changes first from New York to New Orleans and later to Buenos Aires, the film never steps into top gear but tends to just coast along.
For the most part, Will Smith is in his element and shines as the suave crook who can outwit the cleverest gamblers. Unless these ol' eyes are deceiving me, I thought he looked haggard and slightly disoriented in a couple of scenes. Wonder why?
The gambling scene at the football game in New Orleans with the Chinese gambler (BD Wong) was a rare example of Hollywood cinematic excellence, so beautifully crafted it took my breath away. Perhaps, the highlight of the film for moi.
The adorably beautiful Australian babe Margot Robbie is a gem of an actress and one of the key reasons I refrain from slamming this film.
Acting talent such as Margot's is rare and I was floored. I expect Margot's bewitching smile will haunt my dreams for weeks.
As the film rolls along, there are twists galore but only one made my jaw drop.
By no means is Focus a rotten movie but sadly not one that'll linger in your mind for long either.
If you have nothing else to do this weekend and desperately crave an outing in the cold weather, go watch Focus.
But you won't miss much by staying at home to watch Season 3 of House of Cards on Netflix.