Being a victim of a con-artist isn’t fun. This hasn’t prevented films from showing the tricks of their trade. ‘The Sting’ and TV shows like ‘Minder’ and ‘Hustle’ have spun captivating tales of the art of the con. ‘Focus’ supplies plenty of shady manoeuvres of its own. Smartly written and performed, it should provide satisfaction to audiences knowing they are safe from the character’s dubious ways.
Con-man Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) is looking for the next hit. Worming his way into the life of a wealthy race car driver, he hopes to cash-in big. The only snag is Jess (Margot Robbie), a former flame equally adept at sly tactics. Competing to relieve their prey of hard earned dollars, Nicky and Jess find time to re-ignite their romance. Targeting their hearts as well as big bucks the duplicitous duo hope to obtain the ultimate score.
You rarely go wrong with a con/heist-style film and ‘Focus’ delivers. Consistently amusing and filmed with swanky style, all areas of production live up to the film’s title. The effort in concentrating on Nicky and Jess’s dodgy skills ensures a smoothly flowing plot. One never knows if what you’re seeing is the truth or their version of it. This enhances the viewing enjoyment with Smith and Robbie displaying considerable chemistry.
Their character’s romance easily blends with the humour and thrills. Neither is forced with their energetic performances lessening the chance of slack pacing. Co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa deserve credit in crafting an entertaining package. Spinning new twists on a proven formula isn’t easy and one they do with aptitude. There is much to enjoy with the music and cinematography perfectly capturing the dazzling and dangerous world in which Nicky and Jess reside.
‘Focus’ is a high-quality time-waster sure to engage audiences. Unlike con-artists, film reviewers are more trust-worthy in delivering advice so seeing this one is a must – honest.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 8
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.