It seems that every year we get one comedic movie that should be a laugh riot, judging from it’s talented cast and unique premise, but ends up being a dud. This year’s version of a lackluster comedy feature, that should have been amazing, might end up being The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Not that I didn’t chuckle a few times, but Burt Wonderstone is a comedy that you would expect a hearty laugh or two. The film’s greatest trick is making the audiences’ sense of humor disappear.
Before I continue with my review of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, lets pull some trailers out of a hat.
TRAILERS ATTACHED TO THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE:
Kick Ass 2 – A sequel to a movie that was a box office bomb? Ok. : Sell My Stock!
Pain & Gain – Nice to see director Michael Bay going for intentional laughs this time around. : I Will Be There Opening Night!
The Heat – Sandra Bullock is back to her old movie habits and Melissa McCarthy is just back. : Sell My Stock!
The Great Gatsby – As long as they stick to Fitzgerald’s story, this should be a success. : I Will Be There Opening Night!
Hangover 3 – I didn’t find this trailer funny, just like I didn’t find Part 2 funny. : Sell My Stock!
NOW ON WITH THE MAIN EVENT…
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has all the elements for an uproarious satire about Vegas’ many cheesy magicians. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey are some of the funniest actors in the business and the idea of a “Prestige”-type farce seems like a brilliant concept. So why was it so average?
Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) rule the Las Vegas Strip. With their feathered blonde hair and spray-on tans, they’re like Siegfried & Roy (minus Manticore & the sexual tension). Burt and Anton have raked in millions over the decades, with grand illusions as large as Burt Wonderstone’s ego. With their act growing stale and their friendship in shambles, they start getting fazed out for edgier acts. One such edgy performer is street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt. Gray calls himself “The Mind Rapist”. One part Criss Angel, another part David Blaine, Gray is the type of magician likely to blow your mind, while also causing you to vomit. With help from his beautiful assistant (Olivia Wilde) and the retired magician (Alan Arkin) he grew up idolizing, Wonderstone tries to get back on top the Vegas magic mountain.
Carell is too likable to play such a shallow character like Wonderstone. While the script doesn’t give him much to work with, Carell shines when he’s able to use his facial expressions for the odd situations Burt gets into. Carrey is one of the greatest physical comics of all-time and the role of the eccentric Gray suits him perfectly. You can tell that he’s really enjoying this bizarre character, yet I felt he could have taken it even further. As Burt’s sexy assistant, Olivia Wilde is a treat to observe. Besides her beauty, she surprised me with her excellent comedic timing. Arkin, as always, steals just about every scene he is in and Buscemi is fine as the put-upon best friend/business partner.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has it’s moments and is pleasant enough to watch, but you can’t help but wonder (no pun intended) when something memorable is going to happen. The ending has a neat trick in it, but even that quickly vanishes. On the bright side…when was the last time you heard “Abracadabra” by the Steve Miller Band?
I give THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE **1/2 out of ****.