After a period out of the limelight for Will Smith, the former guaranteed box-office hit returns to the big screen with the fast-paced con man film Focus and proves that he’s still got it.
Nicky (Will Smith) sits at the bar of a luxury hotel and observes the attractive Jess (Margot Robbie). At a loss for how to get rid of some unwanted attention, she masquerades as Nicky’s girlfriend. He plays along and they soon end up in a hotel bedroom. When her husband, on whom she has supposedly been cheating, suddenly bursts into the room waving a gun and demanding money from Nicky, the latter remains relatively unperturbed. He himself is a professional con artist and had long since understood that the couple were nothing more than raw amateurs.
As Jess definitely shows potential as a pickpocket, Nicky decides to take her under his wing as an “apprentice” and to teach her the art of deception. Rule number 1: always direct your victim’s focus where you want it to be. The apprentice swindler learns her trade quickly. But because their feelings come into play, Nicky reluctantly pulls the emergency brake.
Years later, as Nicky is planning the scam of his life, they run into each other once again. Unfortunately Jess’ new flame is involved in the plan. Old feelings are rekindled, Nicky loses focus and total chaos ensues.
In Focus, directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love) have created an intricate crime comedy which grabs the audience’s attention with superbly staged robbery scenes and stunning locations. The pairing of Will Smith (Hancock, Men in Black, The Pursuit of Happiness) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, About Time) offer a solid performance, even though Jess’ character is somewhat bland, restricted to the usual Hollywood cliché of the attractive blond. For Will Smith, Focus is the first film in a long time that promises to live up to previous successes such as Hancock (2008) and I Am Legend (2007).
Anyone looking for an entertaining, aesthetically pleasing crime film for movie night is well served with Focus.
Focus is available via OnDemand.