Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santora, Gerald McRaney, and Adrian Martinez
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Smith is Nicky, a real big shot con artist who heads a fairly large group of crooks who pull off massive amounts of rather small heists that add up to a whole lot of dough. He meets Jess (Robbie) one evening as she attempts to con him and the two end up falling for one another. As Nicky trains Jess to be a better crook, we're essentially given two different films: the first forty-five minutes showcase Nicky and Jess successfully running rampant in New Orleans over Super Bowl weekend and the final seventy-five minutes switch things to Buenos Aires where Nicky attempts to help a race car team owner (Rodrigo Santora) try and win some big race through underhandedness.
The problem with Focus is, ironically, the lack thereof in the film. We're essentially getting two separate stories here and while the film's first act in New Orleans works in all aspects -- acting, direction, story -- the second act disappoints. The audience is well aware that most of what they're seeing onscreen is simply double cross after double cross and it ultimately makes us care very little about what we're watching since we take everything we're seeing with a grain of salt, making assumptions that nothing we're seeing is "true." Smith and Robbie carry the piece and help to ease the disappointment in the film's final hour, but Focus feels like two separate films that don't really come together as one.
The RyMickey Rating: C-