Focus (2015)


Nicky (Will Smith) is an intelligent, persuasive man who knows how to work people. Whether it’s picking pockets or playing with someone’s mind, the con is always on. Things get a bit more interesting when he meets Jess (Margot Robbie), a fellow thief, and adds her to his crew. They’re going to be pulling off some major heists, many that will get them in bad situations. No matter what, they need to keep the con alive.

Nicky meets Jess.

Nicky meets Jess.

Focus is a sleek, sexy, fun, and jazz-filled con movie that works tremendously due to its principal cast. The film seems somewhat reminiscent of Oceans 11, but it’s a more intimate with only two leads. One of the coolest things about this film is the art of the steal and how effortlessly some people can make stealing look. The film does have one-or-two predictable moments, but even then they’re welcome because they’re carried out so well. More than anything, this is just an enjoyable and well-made film that is desperately needed among the mediocre films we’ve had thus far this year.

Will Smith, once one of the greatest blockbuster actors of his time, has redeemed himself from his latest string of crappy films. Not only does Smith have a hilarious way of delivering dialogue,but he’s also got a serious attitude that he can bring to the table. When he’s hustling people, you can’t help but smile and admire his craft. He’s cool, collected, badass, and makes everything look effortless, including wooing the beautiful Margot Robbie. His emotions run wild when she’s around and it’s always interesting watching him adapt to certain situations. Mr. July is now Mr. February.

Jess is upset with Nicky.

Jess is upset with Nicky.

Margot Robbie has an incomparable allure to her and mark my words, she is going to be the next big thing. Working the seductive angle perfectly, her powers of manipulation over the characters and the audience is bewildering. Watching her steal is more fun than you’d imagine and she brings a lot of great emotion to the table. Her interactions and chemistry with Will Smith are wonderful and she certainly knows how to get what she wants. She’s not necessarily a
femme fatale, but she has a way with her words and beauty. Her acting talent is really something to behold and don’t be surprised when you see her more frequently.

Much like the Ocean’s films and anything involving a heist, Focus has a lot of amazing sequences with its cast working together to steal from as many people as they can. The audience is given a tutorial on how to effectively steal by averting the marks focus and it’s all rather interesting. Watching the manipulation takes place begins to grow a bit tiresome, until you realize that you’re also being manipulated. Certain words and movements will clue you in, but
you can never fully trust anything that you hear and see. For that, this movie worked even better.

Looks like they're in trouble.

Looks like they’re in trouble.

Writers/Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, known for Crazy, Stupid, Love. and I Love you Phillip Morris, definitely know how to approach love from different and unique angles. The love within this film only makes things more complicated for the characters and could ruin the whole operation. The screenplay they have written is fun and engaging, but does sometimes play out just as you’d imagine it would. There were some moments that felt forced, as well as ones that you saw coming, but their actors do make up for it with their execution. Ficarra and Requa have easily made their most accessible film to date.

Focus made a grand impression on me, solidifying itself as one of my favorite Will Smith’s films. As many have been saying recently, his talent outweighs the films he does, but things even out with this one. He and Robbie makes sparks fly when they’re together and their shenanigans and thievery are insanely enjoyable to watch. There’s something enticing about watching people get in over the heads, as you’re never too sure how things will work out. One thing is for certain: Focus is a film that demands your attention this weekend.

Focus Trailer

3.5 STARS!!!

3.5 / 5 stars     

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