Focus (2015)

2015 Focus film poster.png
Con Bel-Air

Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney, BD Wong

Nicky (Smith) is an accomplished con-man, who works with a combination of misdirection, and utilizing a 'science' of getting people to trust him. He takes under his wing Jess (Robbie), an amateur con-artist with a penchant for lifting people's watches.

It's the electric chemistry shared by Will Smith and Margot Robbie that takes centre stage here. Granted, their characters romance comes on a tad suddenly, but it doesn't matter much, because the duo sell this aspect so believably. Hopefully they'll be able to replicate this wonderful chemistry in next years Suicide Squad

Years then pass after Nicky parts from Jess. He's shown working on a job, hired by motorsports entrepreneur Garriga (Santoro), only to stumble across Jess. This is one of the many moments when convenience is utilized as a plot device. Had it been used for their first meeting, sure, we could've bought that. But for them to meet by convenience again, it feels rather ham-fisted.

Directing duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa manage to handle the proceedings with a combination of eye-popping style, good natured humor and pure enjoyment. This is best exemplified in the films standout scene, where the duo play on Nicky's already telegraphed gambling habits. Only they manage to use these preconceptions, and a cleverly placed Rolling Stones song, to turn the tables on both the audience, and a compulsive gambler, entertainingly played by BD Wong.

It's unfortunate that the last act doesn't hold up to the rest of the film, as many ridiculous twists are put into play, only for things to wrap things up too easily. Special mention to Gerald McRaney, who offers solid support as Owens, head of Garriga's security.

Despite stumbling in the last act, the directing duo of Ficarra and Requa manage to keep consistence in the entertaining aspects, as much as Smith and Robbie hold attention with their performances, and wonderful spark. In short, nobody here manages to lose Focus