Focus – Film Review
First things first allow me to say this, “Oh what a movie!” From the acting to the story line everything is just mind blowing.
Will Smith stars as a veteran con man (Nicky) whose game is thrown off when he meets a beautiful amateur pick pocket and con woman Jess, (Margot Robbie). He shows her the ropes of what it takes to be a professional grifter and then betrays her when he realizes that he has fallen for her. Three years later the two cross paths and Jess who is now an accomplished femme fatale unexpectedly threatens to upset Nicky’s most dangerous scam yet.
From the word go, when the two meet it is hard to know who is playing whom and if the two genuinely care for each other. Jess comes across as a smart girl, too smart for anyone’s liking. She is sly and untrustworthy and has the viewer thinking “I don’t trust this girl. She seems like she is playing him”, especially in the scene after a successful turn of events for the thieves where $1.2 million is placed in Nicky’s care. One can’t help but think that she is going to take the money and run, then the two end up at a football game where Nicky slowly starts betting using his squad money. This scene, to me, is one of the best in the film given its highly unexpected circumstances. (Word of advice: have an oxygen mask for this and many other scenes as the anticipation of what will happen next will literally make your heart stop).
Will Smith delivers his sharpest performance yet since ‘Ali’ and the ‘Pursuit for Happiness’. He gives the audience something for which he has grown to be loved, other than his gorgeous looks, which is an emotional performance all round. You get his emotion when he loses on a bet, when he realizes that he is in love with Jess, and when he gets played. The chemistry between Smith and Robbie is electric from their love scenes to their con artist schemes. Adrian Martin (Farhad) is great as Smith’s second in command and Gerald McRaney (Owens) deserves a round of applause for his role. He plays a no-nonsense, stuck-up old man that has several aces up his sleeve that you won’t see coming.
It has so many twists and turns, I was on the edge of my seat guessing what would happen next. Just when you think this is it, this is where the movie ends, this is its climax, then the directors throw in a curve ball and totally blow your mind so that you are almost gasping for air because you held your breath during a scene.
One can complain that the film has too many twists and turns, but those twists and turns make and define the film. It is all about staying focused. The movie not only tells the story of a professional grifter whose plan is thrown off because of a woman, it actually teaches one to stay focused in all that one does and not let one’s plans be derailed by anything, even love.
Success is ninety-nine percent hard work and one percent emotion.
Overall, ‘Focus’ is an exhilarating film, edgy and great to watch. It is not full of punches, kicks and car chases but it is action packed and leaves you wanting more as you wonder what will happen next.
The ending is bitter sweet and is a cliff hanger already begging for a sequel.
It is such an awesome movie I would pay to see it over and over again. Brilliant, just brilliant is what ‘Focus’ is. I hope that there is a Focus 2 soon by the same crew.