Title – Focus (2015)
Directors – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
Cast – Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Adrian Martinez, BD Wong, Gerald McRaney
Plot – One time partners in crime Nicky (Smith) and Jess (Robbie) find themselves unwittingly back together when Nicky is tasked with a new con job by race car owner Garriga (Santoro) who just happens to be Jess’s new squeeze or perhaps her newest con target.
“There’s hammers and there’s nails. You decide which one you want to be”
Review by Eddie on 20/07/2015
While there’s certainly some great on screen (and more than likely off-screen) chemistry between the slowly losing his charms Will Smith and the ever impressive Aussie starlet Margot Robbie, no amount of sizzle or pizazz can save Focus from its own lacklustre core and for a movie that was supposed to be exciting and energetic, Focus meagrely meets its mark as a Friday night time filler.
Co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have found success before with their impressive rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love and while the two possess a neat visual flair, whether it be in the colourful streets or New Orleans or in the capturing of the natural beauty of Robbie, there’s a sense that the core material at the heart of this con-artist tale lacks the ingredients that was going to allow it to compare to an Oceans 11 or such similar themed films and while Focus may start out in an intriguing fashion, alarmingly it drops off at such a rapid pace that by the film’s final reel it’s quite possible that you’ll find yourself barely awake.
Focus’s largest hurdle in keeping the audience engaged lies within its inability to be in any way shape or form realistic and while with these caper like movies audience suspension of belief is to be expected Focus just goes too far out of its way to be spectacular when a smaller more believable scenario was often called for. Smith’s well renowned con man Nicky is also a figure we don’t ever get to care for and whenever his away from onscreen partner Robbie it’s all to evident that Smith is continuing on with the form he showed in his recent string of stinkers like After Earth and Winter’s Tale with a raft of below average material and elements it’s safe to say Robbie is the star attraction here and we can now hope that her upcoming turns in the intriguing looking Z for Zachariah and Suicide Squad showcase further development of her exciting career.
It’s meant to be exciting, it’s meant to be thrilling and it’s meant to be the smartest kid in its class but Focus barely scraps by with it’s over the top situations, set ups and twists and unlike most films of this ilk slowly dies a death as time goes on when it should’ve been ramping up the fun at every turn. Saved by another neat Robbie performance, Focus is a soon to be forgotten thriller that never achieves its lofty goals.
2 duct taped bullet wounds out of 5