Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone review

Bread doesn't taste bad and it stops you from going hungry, but it's not exactly an enjoyable experience. Burt Wonderstone felt exactly the same to me; it wasn't bad and it stopped me from feeling bored, but it wasn't exactly entertaining either.

I think it's supposed to be a comedy, the problem is I never laughed. I guess, in retrospect, there were a few moments that I would classify as having some humour value, although I don't remember thinking so at the time. The story was not great, with Burt's character arc being very shallow and poorly handled - his entire personality does a complete 180 after a five-minute conversation. And the "big finale" was decidedly underwhelming; rather than take the opportunity to present some kind of big spectacle befitting of a movie about stage magic, they basically just had one single drawn out silly joke that I found neither funny nor interesting and just... well, underwhelming.

The only redeeming feature I saw in the film was that some of the characters were quite likeable (which is more than I can say for many comedies these days), chief among them being Olivia Wilde's character Jane. This is actually the first time I've been impressed with Olivia Wilde's acting. Steve Buscemi also impressed me considering how little he had to work with. Steve Carell handled "pompous stuck-up jerk" just fine, but when it came time to portray Burt as more of a sympathetic human character, well, I just didn't feel it. I'm sorry, but I think Carell is one of those actors who plays a certain type of "character" very well, but isn't very good at playing actual human beings.

Overall I'm giving it a 6/10. Watch it if you're bored and there's nothing better on, but don't bother to go looking for it.

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