I waited for the rental release of Focus. It looked good, and I wanted to see it in the theater, but just never quite made it. I really enjoy a good con movie and this is at most an ok con movie. The best part of the movie, hands down, is the interaction between Will Smith and Margot Robbie. They are great together. They have some great chemistry, it really jumps off of the screen. It gives me hope for the suicide squad movie. I know Margot is playing Harley Quinn, and may not have much interaction with Will, but after watching this movie, I hope they share some screen time. In Focus they play love interests who work cons together. They are the main characters who share most of the screen time together, and it made the movie worth watching.
The actual con games are not great. They start off in New Orleans and work the super bowl. We then have a time jump, and they team up to pull one over a formula one race car owner. The story did not seem to be thought out. This was a love story first,and a con movie second. I am ok with this, if the love story was well done. I’ve already said the two main characters had chemistry. Margot and Will act very well for the material they are handed. The execution of the love story just felt rushed. The whole movie felt rushed. They jumped from one scene to another and nothing seemed to flow together. This affected the love story along with the overall con story they were trying to tell. Maybe the editing of the movie was to blame. It could be there are some deleted scenes, or a director’s cut which could tie the movie together.
The last con did not seem believable to me. You want the big reveal and twist in these movies to be great, but it cannot be so out in left field it makes the reveal unbelievable. This may have just been me, but I did not care for the twist at the end. I admit I did not see it coming, but it was off the wall. Even the first con was sketchy and not all that believable.
Gerald McRaney plays an old head of security, watching out for his employer. He oversold the old curmudgeon character. The thing is, he plays these types of characters well, but it just was not believable this time. Without the two main characters acting their butts off, and working well together this movie would have been a complete mess.
I am glad I waited for the rental on this movie. Not sure if I would ever watch it again. What it did give me, was hope Suicide is going to be good. Margot Robbie is great. She was awesome in Wolf of Wall street, and she is really good in this, with lackluster material. I think she has the potential to be an outstanding Harley Quinn. Will Smith always has the ability to be good in anything he is cast in. I cannot imagine him being horrible as Deadshot.
There are many good con or heist movies out there. This one sadly fell a little short of the mark. It is worth one watch, but not again. Here are my top five all time con or heist movies.
1. The Usual Suspects
2. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
3. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
4. Get Shorty
My Rating: Wait for Premium movie channel release.
List out your top five. Some of my Honorable mentions would include: The Italian job (both old and new), Inside Man, and the Bank Job.