There’s nothing like a good old con artist film with lots of wit and unpredictability that excites me! Problem is, there haven’t been too many good ones lately and I watched this film on the back of watching 3 bad films. Yeah I was on some kind of a streak there.
Will Smith and Margot Robbie both are great actors but I was worried that Hollywood would be trying to pair the next big thing with a seasoned veteran in the hopes that it would sell. Well it probably would at first until audiences discover that the actors don’t have chemistry. Yeah it doesn’t always go according to plan.
Does Focus fall into this trap?
Will Smith stars as Nicky, 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 race car 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.
The one thing that appealed to me to watch this film was Will Smith. Apart from that, if you’ve seen the trailer you’d think it was a pretty straightforward plot and a predictable ending awaits. Well you’d be wrong but I’ll get to that later.
First let’s talk actors. We know Will Smith is going to do a good job and I must say after his previous film, After Earth, many critics were saying that he might be losing his powers as a box office money magnet. So Mr Smith got smart and released a film in February instead. A whole lot of good that did him because Focus allows us to appreciate Will Smith for the talented actor that he is, without the box office hype and special effects that go along with it.
Margot Robbie herself isn’t just there for her drop dead gorgeous looks, she continues to charm the audience like she did in The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s funny or coincidental that these two are actually going to be working together in Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad, set to be released next year. So they’ll go from con artists to super villains. As far as chemistry goes, they certainly have it.
Now, why would you be wrong to think this movie is predictable? Well simply put, it isn’t. I remember the reactions coming out of the cinema of how people didn’t expect all the different plot twists that happened along the way. In fact I think this movie itself is an impressive con on the audience. Making them think it’s leading one way and then it doesn’t. I quite enjoy a film like that and trust me, after watching this on the back of watching 3 bad movies in a row. It brought an end to the streak!
Rodrigo Santoro, BD Wong and Adrian Martinez are just some of the other actors who add a lot of colour and character to this film.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Take a break away from the festive cheer and catch this unpredictable film.
Focus opens in cinemas 26 Feb 2015
Images courtesy of Warner Bros Singapore
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