Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro,
Director: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Genre: Action, comedy
Running time: 104 minutes
Now showing at: Century Cinemax, Acacia Mall, Kisementi and Cinema Magic, Metroplex Mall, Naalya
Will Smith gets to be a bad boy, and not the kind he was with Martin Lawrence in the Bad Boys movie. In Focus, he is really baaad. He plays Nicky Spurgeon, a hustler in the literal sense, with a team that has mastered the fine art of getting people to do whatever they want.
Soon, Spurgeon has an intern in Jess Barrett (Robbie), who he mentors in finding a mark and sticking to the con, even when it looks like you are about to be made. He stresses that it is about playing on people’s emotions and even gives her pointers on how to play the sexy card. If you have seen Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wallstreet), then you will appreciate the irony –the woman oozes sex appeal.
Barrett proves to be a good student but Spurgeon gets uncomfortable with how close they are getting, and breaks ties with her. Fast forward to three years later, and he is working on a con involving a race car driver. It seems like it will be a good fetch till Barrett shows up –she also has the driver in her sights. She has brought her A-game. This is when things get really interesting.
There have been some people grumbling about the age difference between Smith and Robbie –he is 46 and the latter is 24. But those must be the grumblings of people who are frustrated because there has been such a tight lid on this movie that no one seems to have even a sneak peek of it. If you have watched the trailer, you will agree that the chemistry between the two is good. While Smith has that sense of humour we love, it is not too goofy that it takes away from the seriousness of what he is doing. Robbins transformation from a mild con artist to a femme fatale is laudable.
Given how many con artist movies have come to us, Focus gets kudos for an exciting plot, at least one that will keep us focused for the 104 minutes it runs.