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Focus Review

Focus Review

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Kate Adair, Gerald McRaney, BD Wong, Stephanie Honore (Rated M – 105 min).

It comes as no surprise that this is the best Will Smith film for years! And he has Ryan Gosling to thank for dropping out during the early stages of production of this comedy drama concerning the art of ripping off people in no uncertain terms.

The story of an accomplished conman in the midst of a strategic elaborate fleece who is blind-sided by a femme fatale from his past is nothing extraordinary but entertaining enough right through to the surprising finale. Slick and stylish all the way, Oceans Eleven fans will rejoice because this has that exact same feel-good instinct.

Charming all the way, Will Smith as Nicky has anyone who wants to listen to him in a trance of deception; that is until the return of gorgeous Jess (Australian starlet Margot Robbie) into his life. Things get progressive through slight of hand and charming chemistry between the mismatched leads, they walk, talk and cruise around as an obscure couple until their profession tears them apart, or does it.

There is a sting in the tail as nothing is as it seems most of the time, this is a heist film so trickery runs rampant. One particular pick-pocketing scene reminded me of a grand waltz as the perpetrators sway around unsuspecting victims stealing from right under their oblivious noses.

Quite often during Focus, I was reminded of the far superior 1968 gem Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, the romance and wit was sharp, bittersweet moments are also apparent between the leads.

Interesting throughout and Will Smith has redeemed himself within close to a decade of ordinary performances (After Earth was nasty). But don’t pay too much attention to the illustrious story as Focus loses focus of any practical plot.

Shane A. Bassett

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