In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Focus tries to do a whole lot, it succeeds at very little of it, yet it’s entertaining anyway.”
“I can convince anyone of anything. I once convinced a man that an empty warehouse was the federal reserve, so I’m good.”
Con man movies are all about conning the audience watching it as much as they are about conning the characters in it. Movies like Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men and David Mamet’s Heist work so well and deliver such an impact because they make you feel like you’re in it, watching from the outside, seeing angles that the characters can’t. Then they pull the rug out from under you, and you realise that you were being suckered the whole time too. Good con movies do it so well, when you watch them a second time, you can’t believe how many little hints of the truth you missed that first time around. Focus tries to do a whole lot of that, it succeeds at very little of it, yet it’s entertaining anyway.
Sitting alone in a swanky hotel bar, Nicky (Will Smith) is quickly seduced by the gorgeous Jess (Margot Robbie). Getting down to rumpy pumpy business, they’re interrupted by her jealous, gun wielding husband. Only, it’s not her jealous husband, it’s her partner in crime, scamming and robbing people like Nicky after they’re lured to her room. Only, Nicky’s not being scammed, he’s actually a world class con artist himself, who recognised this low rent scheme immediately and went along with it out of pure curiosity before easily thwarting their plans. (more…)