Focus captured my attention especially because of its atypical approach. It is a mixture of romance, action, comedy, crime and drama, very entertainingly supported by the main characters. I have to confess that I am not a huge Will Smith fan, but in this movie I quite liked him. Margot Robbie attracted me after she recently hosted Saturday Night Live. I found her a little forced out in her role in The Wolf of Wall Street, much too ready for overnight stardom in Hollywood, but here, in Focus, she was really charming. She accurately plays a deceivingly famme fatale, which, considering her look, wasn’t very hard after all.
Focus – Plot
Nicky is a veteran con artist. Actually he is a sort of a thief who mainly steals from innocent people with his trained team. Usually, and mostly comically, the heists and schemes are planed and done as acts of revenge to taking down rich and greedy villains. Unfortunately here, the only villains are Nicky and his team. Jess is a petty pickpocket who tries to seduce Nicky and pull a scam on him, with no chances.
Shortly after that, Nicky accepts to teach her his trade, and introduces Jess to his team in order to steal from innocent tourists in New Orleans. They sleep together and Jess seams to fall for Nicky; he is so contained and cool, it is like a trap. He had another scam in mind, in which he uses her without beforehand preparation, for the sake of authenticity. He doubles the money they made on the streets. After that, with a heart of stone, when poor Jess thought that she has Nick for herself, he leaves her just with her cut.
They meet again in three years, and that’s the movie’s story.
Focus – Cast and Production
Will Smith is Nicky, an accomplished conman. Margot Robbie is Jess, a beautiful thief. Adrian Martinez is Farhad, Nicky’s accomplice and friend. Rodrigo Santoro is Garriga, a Spanish Formula One team owner. Gerald McRaney is Owens, Garriga’s security guy. BD Wong is Liyuan, a prominent gambler. Robert Taylor is McEwen, an Australian Formula One team owner.
Movie is written and directed by Glenn Ficarra (Bad Santa‘s writer) and John Requa (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot).
Despite some prominent critics bad opinion about this flick, I liked it. It was not very credible, and we have to admit that Smith is not made for romantic nuances, he doesn’t like them or he doesn’t care. Robbie and Martinez saved the cat here, and also the turn off was intelligently placed. It entertained me, but that doesn’t make Focus an exceptional movie. Apparently it entertained a lot of people, because it achieved very quickly over three times the investment.
I have noticed Santoro in Love Actually, not when I watched the movie in theater, but on the DVD, when I watched it with director Richard Curtis’ comments. He said that such a body, one can find only in Brazil. I didn’t realize actually how ugly he was, until now.
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