FOCUS | REVIEW

It appears Mr Smith may be back on the rise, the Prince of Bel Air has needed something commercial and mainstream to repair the damage of AFTER EARTH (JK liked it haha) and increase his currency again back to Hollywood royalty level. While this will probably not bring in royalty worthy bank cheques he is BACK, with one damn sexy Margot Robbie in tow, damn she is glamorous!! This was going to be a very different movie a few years back, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were starring, Emma left and it was going to be Gosling and pouty Kirsten Stewart, Gosling pulled out. Then Brad Pitt was offered – probably too close to Ocean’s so he declined, then Batlfeck pulled out due to scheduling issues, then they went through Michelle Williams, Jessica Biel, Rose Byrne and Olivia Munn before choosing Margot Robbie – and I think they finally got the right chemistry happening. I would have liked Pitt and Byrne also but hey, no one is as beautiful as Robbie! Enough babbling – enjoy Kernel Nick Stanbrook’s review of FOCUS, it is out today, Thursday March 5th in Australia from Roadshow Films, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 105mins. All the best…………..JK.

 

FOCUS MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
FOCUS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY NICK STANBROOK

Jaden Smith’s dad and Margot Robbie star in FOCUS, a film about a high class conman, and his concerningly attractive protégé. Jess, played by Margot Robbie, unknowingly tries to con veteran conman Nicky, (Smith) which leads her into the world of swindlers and thieves. Along the way there is some hot and heavy love making, as well as some quick witted banter. FOCUS, while being cool calm, and all too suave, is surprisingly fun.
FOCUS undoubtedly emphasises the smart and sophisticated side of the criminal world. Yet it doesn’t get stuck in being aloof. It does something which I honestly didn’t see coming. It was funny. For the most part, the humour would pop in just when needed. When things were getting a bit too serious and deep and meaningful, someone would make a witty remark, or crack a one liner. There were moments in the film where I was worried. As I sat there getting ready to roll my eyes, at the lingering kiss and sincere stare, I was saved, and the over the top mood of the scene would dissipate into a more light-hearted and fun-feeling.

 

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FOCUS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JESS (MARGOT ROBBIE) – JUST STUNNING

 

If you look into who made this film its not that surprising to see FOCUS change things up and not get stuck in a box. This film was written and directed by long time partners in crime, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. These guys have had an interesting career. They were writers on one of my favourite TV shows, ANGRY BEAVERS, going on to write CATS AND DOGS, BAD SANTA, and even I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, which they also directed. They also directed CRAZY, STUPID LOVE.  If I had known this prior to seeing FOCUS, it would have changed my expectations. Ficarra and Requa have a background in comedy, as well as films that tread the line between drama, romance and comedy. FOCUS falls more towards the drama sides of things but you can see how it has been influenced by the comedy background of its creators.

 

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FOCUS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | NICKY (WILL SMITH) IN THAT CAR

 

The directors aren’t the only ones with a firm foundation in comedy. We all known and love Will Smith for his comedic origins. Sadly it has been a while since we have seen him in his element. MIB3 in 2012, HANCOCK in 2008 and HITCH back in 2005. They are his most recent comedy outings. Smith is so naturally charming and funny, that he essentially plays himself in this film. Which in no way is a detriment. He is able to embrace the more tender moments, but can so easily defuse the tense situations with his impeccable timing and delivery.

The only odd thing about Will Smith in this film is that I couldn’t stop thinking that he is 46. Which isn’t old or any reason to be upset, its just that he spends half the film in bed with Margot Robbie, who is 24. Not a major point, just a thought that lingered in the back of my mind.

 

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FOCUS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JESS (MARGOT ROBBIE) – JUST STUNNING IN THAT RED DRESS

 

Now what would a conman movie be without some double crossing and misdirection. This is probably the strong point of FOCUS. I never saw the twists coming. I honestly didn’t think it was that kind of film. I had put it in the box of dumb romantic drama rubbish, when the story would suddenly jolt in the opposite direction. It saved me from losing interest quickly and kept me glued to the screen the entire time.

FOCUS is a good looking film, full of charm and suave-ness (I’m sure that’s a word). Its not ground-breaking and doesn’t pretend to be changing the world. Its fun and its funny. Will Smith does a great job, even Margot Robbie steps out of her eye candy box and gives a solid performance. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Will Smith. He could do with some solid consistent films under his belt.

 

3 and a Half Pops