You should know what you’re getting into from the trailer of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but it may seem promising to moviegoers considering the lack of quality films that 2013 has dispatched so far. At the film’s core, it’s an age old tale of out with the old and in with the new, but all the smoke and mirrors on top of Wonderstone‘s premise ends up delivering little magic and vapid comedy.
Steve Carell is in the lead as a cheesy Las Vegas magician, Burt Wonderstone, a role that would have been better suited for Will Ferrell by a long shot. Then there’s Steve Buscemi, who plays Burt’s outsider childhood friend, Anton Marvelton. Thanks to magic, the two manage to make it through adolescence and continue on to have a show at Bally’s in Las Vegas – which runs for 10 years. However, the excitement and allure of it all has faded over the years, and Wonderstone has grown more pompous and full of himself as he indulges in not only his own perceived awesomeness but also attractive female audience members – who he takes back to his room every night.
Jim Carey plays hipster magician, Steve Gray, who wows audience with acts of pain and rather impressive endurance. He’s the new guy on the block and is poised to take over Burt and Anton’s place in the world of magic. However, the only entertaining about his character is the initial giggle you have when you realize his cable fans call him “Brain Rapist.”
After a falling out between Burt and Anton, Burt finds himself broke and alone. He has to start over and in the process of doing so he finds a softer and kinder Burt. A Burt that may just be able to win the heart of their once assistance, Jane (Olivia Wilde), who is now working with Steve Gray.
Comeback stories have been done better. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone provides a mostly laughless look at what would happen if Siegfried dumped Roy while Criss Angel swooped into take their spotlight. It’s just a mainstream comedy with a lackluster script that doesn’t make use of the amazing cast that somehow agreed to do the film. The characters are either too bland, too extreme, or just not consistent. The evolution of Burt ends up feeling like Steve Carell’s character in Crazy, Stupid, Love and with a few exceptions, I feel like Olivia Wilde is doing the same character in every film over and over again. We’ve seen her in this romantic comedy, leading lady role before, and it all seems the same.
Simply put, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a film with a bunch of adults acting like children, shouting at one another, and jokes that only offer style with no substance. There was potential here, but this film is far from incredible.
Review By: Emma Loggins