Film Review – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Burt Wonderstone

Title – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Director – Don Scardino (Me and Veronica)

Cast – Steve Carell, Jim Carey, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin.

Plot – Magicians Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscimi) have been performing in Vegas for years headlining one of Doug Munny’s (Gandolfini) hotels. Their time as headlining magicians is threatened however by a new wave of magician, a brain rapist! Namely Steve Gray (Carey). How will these two aging performers survive in the cutthroat world of magic?

“I quit the business, I don’t read the trades and I’m late for my coma.”

Review by Eddie on 02/08/2013

Burt Wonderstone does not live up to its preceding title of incredible that’s for sure, but it’s hard to completely dismiss this quietly entertaining comedy delving into the world of magic and egos. Burt Wondertone is a movie that barely reaches its ample potential yet still garners more laughs than countless of its counterparts thanks to some quirky humour and a return to form of the long dormant Carey.

The film as a whole is pretty much story writing 101. We have the two outsiders who have become successful in Carell and Buscemi, the old wise cracker in Alan Arkin’s aging magician Rance Holloway, the token babe in Wilde’s Jane and then the crazy random in Carey’s Steve Gray. These run of the mill characters though fair better than perhaps they deserve thanks to Buscemi, Arkin and Carey’s performances but it must be said Wilde and especially Carell look like they barely woke up for their roles, which sums up the movie as a whole.

What Burt Wonderstone as a finished product presents is a dormant beast of a movie. The film is filled with so many opportunities for laugh out loud humour but settles for a hearty chuckle. The premise is ripe for unpredictable story progression yet plays the whole premise far to safely, the opposite to most comedies these days which seem to push the envelope just to un-pc each other. The film just feels like a half-baked omelette of comedy eggs.

Burt Wonderstone is an entertaining enough 90 minutes. It’s a film pretty hard to hate thanks to its ability not to push any real buttons that have not been pushed before. Burt Wonderstone’s failing at the box-office and misfire with the critics show that the spell that was cast missed the mark by a considerable margin, something magic can’t afford to do.

3 bad wigs out of 5

9 responses to “Film Review – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

    • It should of been a real comedy classic, had as you said allt he cast and a premise that had ripe potential. Got the feeling the people behind the scenes just didn’t know what tone to stick with. Overall though still an enjoyable little comedy, with enough laughs to warrent a watch. (Eddie)

  1. The most disappointing thing you said was how Carell went through the motions. That sucks. But I still want to check it out. It kind of sounds like Kingpin, only with magic.

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