Will and Margot's chemistry makes for fun ride despite bizarre twists
THE ONSCREEN chemistry between the two leads helps paper over the cracks in this comedy/drama packed with silly plot twists. For a movie called Focus, it has anything but.
It’s a shame, because writer and director duo John Requa and Glenn Ficarra have shown themselves to be adept with such capers in the past, courtesy of the fun Crazy, Stupid, Love and the underrated I Love You Phillip Morris.
Still, Will Smith and Margot Robbie make a smooth pairing in this glossy effort, though the fact that they’re essentially very good petty thieves doesn’t exactly make them likeable.
Smith plays Nicky Spurgeon, a conman who, along with his team, makes a very nice living from targeting big events like the Superbowl and robbing the wallets and other possessions of unsuspecting punters.
When he locks eyes – and lips – with the stunning Jess Barrett, he quickly realises she’s trying to con him but goes along with it. Exposed at the last minute, Jess is so impressed with the guy who’s hoodwinked her that she wants to get in on the act.
They make a great team both romantically and as hustlers – but when they become too involved, Nicky backs off.
Three years later, however, their paths cross again when Nicky travels to Buenos Aires to steal a rival’s secrets for a billionaire race car owner (Santoro).
What he does not know is that the mogul is dating his ex-girlfriend, who knows the tricks of the trade and all of his secrets.
Focus sees Will Smith return to the big screen for the first time since the turkey that was After Earth and it’ll certainly be interesting to see if he still has the pulling power at the box office that he did in the past.
The addition of Robbie, who shot to fame as Leonardo DiCaprio’s sassy wife in The Wolf of Wall Street, certainly helps. They make a glamorous couple and let fly with the wittier lines of the movie’s dialogue.
The trouble is, though, they’re really not given enough to work with here and there are just too many far-fetched scenarios and implausible
While it makes for slick and fun company for a while, it all starts to fall apart by the time we get to the final con.
Focus (15A) HHH
The Verdict: A con movie that’s not as smart as it thinks it is – but Smith and Robbie are fun together.