Visually appealing and with a strong cast, Focus is an average commercial con artist movie. It’s good for one viewing and nothing more. Mostly because of its simplistic approach and lack of any complexity. Now, I’m not saying I want a freaking masterpiece but you could muster a bit more intelligent story. However, all this doesn’t mean this is a bad movie, just a decent one. I’ve always found these hustle and con artist movies so interesting. And don’t get me started on heist movies. I don’t know what makes them so exciting. Maybe it’s like watching how magicians explain their tricks, only we’re talking about criminals here.
This brings us to the point that they always manage to get away with the fact that we’re rooting for the bad guys to pull off their elaborate heists or cons. This is mostly accomplished using that special, light atmosphere and storytelling where everything seems like a dream or a fairy tale. Focus is a big production with a budget of over $50 million. So, this means that there will be lavish cars, sets, and everything else that goes along with this price tag. Will Smith seems a bit too casual, which was a big disappointment as a lot of this movie was hinging on his charisma. On the other hand, fucking Margot Robbie saved the day along with Adrian Martinez. The two of them really made it worth watching.
Being a con man isn’t easy and Nicky Spurgeon knows it. He’s been in this business for a long time and this gives him perspective and focus. That same focus will also help him recognize a great talent in an amateur criminal Jess. So, he decides to take her under his wing and teach her what it really means to be a con man…
My biggest complaint about Focus is the lack of coherent storytelling and a grand scheme. The rest is pretty solid and engaging, especially the raunchy jokes. I wasn’t really ready for them but once they started rolling out, I freaking loved them. They were apparently trying to dazzle the viewer, forgoing character development and the plot. You don’t care about them, they just do stuff and stuff happens to them. And you don’t care that you don’t care. This is one of the ultimate turn off your brain movies, and a herald of a new tag here at Rabbit-Reviews: Turn Off Your Brain Movies.
Finally, I have to recommend a bit older but much, much better movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Check it out to see just how good these movies can be. Also, if you want to continue in a similar fashion check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of con artists movies.
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writer: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Adrian Martinez, Gerald McRaney, Rodrigo Santoro, BD Wong
Fun Facts: After Ryan Gosling dropped out, the role was offered to Brad Pitt but he declined and Ben Affleck, who dropped out citing “scheduling conflicts.”