Blunt and simplistic, there's not a moment in this thriller that feels inspired by anything other than criminal TV shows. This means that everything on-screen feels comfortably familiar, so we happily go along with the story even as it gets increasingly ridiculous. But just a bit of complexity might have helped us care about what happens.
When his daughter Samantha is found murdered in Los Angeles, military contractor Lex is called back from the front lines to claim her body. But after flying in from the Middle East, he discovers that it's not her. Local police Detective Klein (Patric) is more interested in investigating Lex than finding out what really happened to Samantha, so Lex starts to look into things himself. First, he checks out Samantha's shifty boss (Caan). Then, with the help of a friend (Elizabeth), he tracks down her boyfriend Ricky (Messner) and eventually finds Samantha herself (Ordway). And now there's a whole new set of problems.
Writer-director Miller tells this story as if it's a pilot episode for a cop series, eliminating any ambiguity by continually reminding us who's good and bad. As a result, there isn't a single surprise along the way, action scenes are predictable and the drama feels soapy and silly. It's not like there aren't strong themes gurgling under the surface, but none of the actors bother to break through. Fairbrass is such a meathead that we wonder how he could possibly be an elite tactical soldier, while Caan seems to be channelling vicious-thug-mode Robert DeNiro. At least he and Patric seem to be having some fun with their roles.
Continue reading: The Outsider Review
Burt Wonderstone wanted to be a superstar magician ever since he was a young boy watching his idol Rance Holloway perform tricks on TV. Enlisting his best friend Anton Marvelton as his partner, the pair became stars beyond their wildest dreams wowing audiences in Las Vegas for the best part of 30 years. However, after a while being the biggest magic stars in America, ticket sales begin to drop and the pair find themselves drifting apart from each other. It doesn't help that a young, charismatic new street magician called Steve Gray has arrived on the scene becoming a massive hit among young magic fans. After Burt and Anton embark on a new stunt, attempting to stay suspended in a box with each other, they realise that their friendship is long forgotten and Anton moves abroad. Burt must meet with his hero Rance and reconnect with what made him love magic in the first place in order to reunite with his friend once more.
'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' is a hilarious new comedy directed by Don Scardino ('30 Rock') and written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein ('Horrible Bosses'), and Chad Kultgen ('Southern Discomfort', 'Waiting to Die'). It is set for release in UK cinemas from March 15th 2013.
Starring: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Gordon, Brad Garrett, Melissa Ordway, Jay Mohr, John Lewis, Freedom, David Copperfield, Mark Engelhardt, TJ Myers,
Continue: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Trailer
When young John Bennett's teddy bear miraculously began to speak to him one Christmas night after he made a wish, it was his childhood dream come true. But 27 years later, it's more of a nightmare as Ted begins to get in the way of his 4 year long relationship with Lori. Both John and Ted find it difficult to part with each other after so long - will John's love for Lori compromise his friendship with Ted or will his love for Ted affect his relationship with Lori?
Continue: Ted Trailer
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Blunt and simplistic, there's not a moment in this thriller that feels inspired by anything...
Burt Wonderstone wanted to be a superstar magician ever since he was a young boy...