WRITTEN BY: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
DIRECTED BY: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
STARRING: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney
RATING: 3 stars
Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) is a master con man, smart enough to know that there is no such thing as one big final score. When novice con woman Jess (Margot Robbie) tries to trick Nicky, he plays along before revealing he is onto her. But he sees potential in her ability and great beauty, which he knows can be used to con others. So, Nicky takes Jess under his wing, but sparks soon begin to fly between the pair, which only serves to complicate things because neither of them knows if it is really love or just one big con.
In some parts, Focus embraces the clichés of its genre while at other times it rejects certain aspects. This means that while some plot points seem very obvious, others are a great surprise. Unfortunately, the film still lacks a main point overall. There are two main cons, but neither is all that compelling. The characters are also not really likeable so it is hard to get invested in their story or care what happens to them. Smith and Robbie have great chemistry, despite him being twice her age, but that is not enough to keep viewers intrigued. Unfortunately, Rodrigo Santoro is reduced to a caricature as the rich car racing sportsman Nicky is trying to con. Ultimately, Focus is mindless enjoyment, but it is hardly memorable. If you like con films with a bit of romance, I would recommend re-watching Ocean's 11.