FocusDVD of the Week Thursday, June 4th, 2015
dvd of the week
In the stylish and slight Focus, Will Smith plays Nicky, an extremely successful and absurdly smooth conman who meets a blonde seductress named Jess (Margot Robie) when she tries to con him and fails miserably. Jess asks Nicky to teach her to be a better con artist, and while he is resistant of developing any sort of relationship, he is clearly drawn to her. The plot follows one con after another, numerous fake-outs, and a lot of flirting. The twists are many, and I was surprised often by where writers-directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (I Love You, Philip Morris and Crazy Stupid Love) take us. Smith is excellent as Nicky, and Robie is a delight as the smart, skillful, often hilarious, often tough bombshell. But the best performance in the film is BD Wong as Chinese gambler Liyuan, who Nicky battles at a turning point in the film. Liyuan’s smile is both endearing and sinister, and Wong energizes the film just when things seem to be getting dreary.
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