The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, with Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde & Jim Carrey. Don Scardino, director. Carell’s brand of humor is always a hit & miss affair. This film was almost a complete miss, but there were actually moments that made me chuckle, not laugh. Which is problematic for a comedy.
Wonderstone, played by Carell, is a tired Las Vegas hotel magician who is stuck in a rut; along with his partner Marvelton, played by actor Buscemi (a much better actor, but no comedian). The film’s antics rely on wit so dry that no amount of re-hydration seems capable of saving it. Perhaps a more complicated plot or something a little more shocking than Jim Carrey’s old-hat rubber faces would have added a little substance to something, so without content. It’s hard to say. I think casting Carrey was a mistake. I don’t like desperation & he seems to exude career despair, out of his pores.
Even the inclusion of familiar faces James Gandolfini & Alan Arkin as subordinate characters didn’t help the film achieve any lift. Motion pictures that are difficult to watch & understand because of vacuousness tend to relegate any interesting members of the cast to little more than landmarks.
Steve Carell really isn’t a I Love Lucy slapstick artist. Had he been more multifaceted it definitely would have helped the movie. Buscemi isn’t a comedian & Olivia Wilde is out of her element being shuffled around.
We’ve seen Carrey’s routines over & over. He’s a has been (twice over), which is to say; he was never able to recapture his perch at the top, which was a long time ago. I had wondered why he has recently been tweeting political BS & attempting to insert himself in a US national debate on gun control. I hadn’t even heard he was in this film until viewing it. Obviously, he’s trying to be relevant & edgy. It’s not working & he’s not being taken seriously. I have no pity, which should also be obvious, for mercenaries. Which he is one.
Carell is innocent & shouldn’t be held accountable for the film’s stupidity & Wilde is superfluous to everything.
Avoid the film, as I avoided reading other reviewers’ nasty taglines & their universally bad reviews of the film; just to be fair! I should have have listened to the bad news, before wasting my time.