By Peter Hyle
Last Friday, Will Smith’s latest movie “Focus” hit theatres. I have wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer, mainly because I think Smith usually does a good job with whatever role plays. I was also interested because of his romantic interest with Margot Robbie, who I only know from her unforgettable performance in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” With those two thrown together I thought the dynamic would be appealing, and I was not disappointed.
Smith plays Nicki, a veteran con artist who takes a petty thief named Jess (Robbie) under his wing. The two of them had great chemistry together, although there were some hiccups along the way. The storyline moved along slowly and sometimes I sat there and asked myself “Am I supposed to care?” The acting was all spot on though, and Smith fit his role perfectly (as usual).
My only problem with the movie occurs after the first 50 minutes, where I lost a lot of interest in the plotline. It lost some of the momentum that it really needed. The first half of this film features an intense gambling scene I thought was done very well. It kept me in the dark for most of the scene, like most good movies, and hit me with a twist I felt like I should have seen coming. The movie does an even better job at this during the last 20 minutes, which completely make up for the more uninteresting parts of the storyline.
At the end of the hour and 45 minute ride, you realize the movie has lived up to its own title. It has so much flash and charm that it diverts your attention away from the actual story, and when it reaches its climax you feel completely blindsided. I realize that sounds like a bad thing, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. The last few plot twists are extremely clever and give more life to the movie, which was exactly what it needed.
Smith knew exactly what he was doing with this character, and it shows by how natural he is in this role. This character seemed to have been made for him. Robbie also does an outstanding job with the role of the wide-eyed intern, despite the occasional overly dramatic
performance. The two of them together could have turned out to be an odd pairing, but luckily they pulled it off. Overall, the effortless acting and smart plot twists work together to make “Focus” the first successful crime movie of the year.