Will Smith seems to be having a good time, and for a large part of the film you do too.
Starts and ends as a tame love story...
A slick film, with shaky ‘focus’...
Benefited by a witty script that keeps things playful, Focus is as slick a conman flick as any.
Focus is one of those con movies which occasionally tries to get too clever for its own good. If you are focused enough, there are many points which strike you instantly while the others come later. If you can ignore them, then this Glenn Ficarra, John Requa venture is entertaining enough.
There is a barrage of twists to surprise you, but even those are so lame you wish you had been in the film and successfully fooled everyone in it. Smith, who is generally so likable, does little to salvage the scrappy material, as if still reeling from the aftershock of 'After Earth'.
Focus isn't dazzling, but it has a few fun moments, one of which is a masterclass in conning that Nicky gives Jess early on in the film. Smith moves with balletic smoothness as he delivers a variation of Robbins's TED talk. It's elegantly executed, but you know it's a performance, aided by clever camerawork and a production crew that will make things appear as and when Smith needs them to do so.
Focus is definitely a bang for your buck. There is no doubt that you will enjoy the sneaky cons and the terrific camaraderie between the leads. The final act of the movie could have been tighter but take my word for it, you will want to watch it again.
As the plot twists and turns, it's best to stop wondering who's doing what to whom and just, er, focus on watching Smith, wily and vulnerable at the same time, match wits (and hearts?) with Robbie, who makes a case here for more leading-lady roles. It would be fun to watch these two together again. Maybe a sequel called Re-focus?