Review: Focus (2015)


Sleek and slick on the surface but shallow underneath, Focus muddles through on the back of its appealing co-stars and brisk pace. Nicky (Will Smith), a proficient con artist, succumbs to the charms of new recruit Jess (Margot Robbie). But when he breaks it off and leaves her heartbroken, Jess re-enters his life at the worst possible time. Unnecessarily convoluted thanks to a barrage of twists and turns, the film is clear-cut nonetheless, with the end apparent from the start. Smith and Robbie cover the cracks as best they can, the latter, in particular, rising above the questionable dialogue to deliver a performance that’s full of lively, inviting personality. There’s hints of humour and real heart dotted around (the script’s underlying themes are well-founded, if weak) that result in one or two frothy scenes. But ultimately Focus is a poor effort, particularly considering the potential the writer-director duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa exhibited previously.

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