Friday, February 27, 2015

Movie Review: Focus


The trailer for Focus immediately made me think of Matt Damon's pickpocket character in the Ocean's 11 movies. Will Smith's character here is very similar, although more of a con man, and the moral of this film is that you shouldn't always believe what you think is real.

Nicky (Will Smith) is the ultimate con man; he and his team can pull in over a million dollars when a major event is going on. He meets Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie) in a restaurant, and she tries to pull a small-time con on him - once they're upstairs in a hotel room, her "husband" bursts in, starts to get upset, and brandishes a gun at Nicky. Nicky knows it's a con, though, and is pretty calm; Jess is in awe and asks him to teach her the tricks of the trade. He takes her with him to New Orleans, during Super Bowl week, and by the end of the week, they and the rest of Nicky's team leave rich; however, Jess isn't entirely fulfilled with how she and Nicky leave their relationship. He next runs into her three years later, and the game is still afoot - he's there for a con, but she doesn't know that, and what happens during the rest of the movie will make you question everything you believe to be true.

I liked that this film keeps you on your toes the whole way through. If something looked too bizarre or strange to be true, it probably was; Nicky is a skillful conman, and Jess wants to learn his tips and tricks. I'm usually a fan of Will Smith movies and this one was no exception - he was great in the part of Nicky, plus he and Margot Robbie have great chemistry together, even though he's almost twice her age (46 years old to her 24 years). Other characters of note are Adrian Martinez as Farhad, an associate of Nicky's, and Rodrigo Santoro as a racecar owner who hires Nicky to make sure his racecars will always win.

Yes, see this movie. The only reason I'm giving it 3.5/5 stars rather than 4 is because it seemed to lag a little in certain areas; soon, however, the plot picked back up, so I was rarely bored. I'd recommend this film for anyone that likes movies about cons/con artists (ie, Ocean's 11, Matchstick Men, etc.) or for those that enjoy lush scenery - most of the film was set in Spain, where Smith's character goes after Santoro's character hires him. It's a movie that I wouldn't mind seeing again, too, just to figure out the parts that I initially was surprised by, and it has a ton of twists and turns throughout that you most likely won't see coming.

Focus is in theaters today, February 27th, and is rated R with a runtime of 104 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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