Never Lose Focus
Directed and written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), 'In the midst of veteran con man Nicky's latest scheme, a woman from his past - now an accomplished femme fatale - shows up and throws his plans for a loop.'. The film stars Will Smith (I Am Legend) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street). Will Focus be too much for the brain to take in?
This has to be the biggest surprise for me of the year so far - I thought this looked horrid whenever I saw the trailers and expected it to get below 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, I was proven wrong as fellow critics seemed to be impressed too. I only saw this film because it was the thing on at my cinema that I hadn't seen already and was slightly interested in. The first and final (third) act were fantastic! They were gripping, hilarious and were full of twists and turns. However, I did feel that the film became quite slow and bordered on being quite boring in the second act. A perfect way to describe this is a student who passes an exam, does another one and fails so becomes demotivated but then aims high again so passes. Focus sometimes does lose focus but manages to get its eye back on the prize eventually. I thought some of the ways they conned and pick-pocketed people in the film were really smart and clever. Focus is a stylish and intelligent film!
There were some weird music choices throughout the film. At the beginning of the film, there was an annoying and distracting instrumental jazz song that took my attention away from the dialogue between the actors. This sort of theme was quite common - the film could have been scored a lot better - however this is only a minor issue and won't spoil the actual film. There is one piece of music that is used very cleverly towards the end of the first act of the film which really impressed me.
I thought it was really nice and refreshing to see an interracial couple in a modern Hollywood film. I have come to accept that Will Smith is like Vin Diesel - they basically play the same character in every movie. Smith was good in this film but did have some very wooden moments at some crucial scenes which has lowered the rating for this film. However, Margot Robbie is absolutely fantastic! I'd never witnessed her act before but she really proves that she's 'not just a pretty face' - I think she stole the show when she was on camera. The other acting was all of a good quality - I can't think of anyone who put in memorably bad performances.
Now lets talk about that multi-twist ending. 3 twists are thrown at you at once. Some are a bit cheesy and far fetched but I don't think any of them are predictable. I'd heard from people that had already seen the film to expect a big twist but I didn't know how big..this twist was HUGE! I was really impressed by it and it definitely upped the rating of this film. This once again proves how stylish Focus is.
Focus is a pleasant surprise. With a good performance from Smith and a fantastic one from Robbie, the refreshing lead characters have a lot of charm and chemistry. Focus is smart, funny and clever but does start to drag in its second act. However, it starts to focus on winning over the audience with a fantastic twist! I cannot emphasise enough how stylish and smart this film is. This film would be perfect if it never lost focus - March has been saved!