Las Vegas headliner, magician Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) learns the importance of humility when he is forced to return to his roots in the shadow of mega-star-on-the-rise, street magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey).
Also starring Olivia Wilde as Jane, Steve Buscemi as Wonderstone’s childhood friend and partner, Anton, and Alan Arkin as legendary Rance Holloway, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is directed by Don Scardino.
Magic, and the sense of wonder and awe it imparts when done correctly, is a guilty pleasure. Then again, so is watching anything Steve Carell is in … or Jim Carrey … or, come to think of it, Olivia Wilde. In fact, when was the last time you saw a Steve Buscemi film that you didn’t (at least in some part) enjoy? The casting for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is definitely the film’s greatest, and most solid, accomplishment.
Carrey, who stars as a street magician (think Criss Angel, only twice as awesome), will have you cringing and laughing whenever he slithers on-screen.
The plot, while carried out by coiffed, velvet-wearing, bedazzled, old school magicians, is still a bit predictable and tepid if not completely formulaic. It goes a little something like this.
Guy is bullied as a child. Receives a magic kit that fuels a lifelong passion. Grows up with a chip on his shoulder but makes something of himself. Gets full of himself. Loses everything. Learns a lesson – not just about himself, but about life. Returns to his roots and is better than ever. But, did I mention there’s magic?
That David Copperfield (who has a cameo) served as an adviser on The Incredible Burt Wonderstone does show. In fact, my one real complaint about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is that, in a film about magic, magic isn’t more predominantly featured.
I know, I know … you have to make room for the funny. Still, there are moments that will spark your curiosity; a thing that I, and a few others, still place a decent value upon.
I mean, look. We should all know at this point what we’re getting ourselves into when we head out to see a Steve Carell film. Carell, who is a solid actor, turns in another amusing performance. It’s just a pity that the film is so light, you will probably forget about it the moment you leave the cinema.
Abracatastic! Annnnnnnd … it’s gone!
Olivia Wilde, who stars as Jane (an aspiring magician in her own right), is unfortunately relegated to little more than eye candy. Beautiful, charming eye candy, but still. Despite the character’s own admission that life in the biz for a woman is tough, all her struggles and effort get her no closer to her dream. Oh sure, Carell’s Wonderstone offers her the opening act for his new show, but you never see it come to fruition. It is as if (insert a billowing white cloud here) – poof – it never existed. Jane’s success is as illusory as any one of the magic tricks performed in the movie.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is not a horrible flick, but one perhaps best reserved for a DVD showing in the comfort of your own home where less of your hard-earned cash will disappear.
Official Site: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone