12:20 p.m., April 5, 2013


Not a perfect act

I have never been a fan of magic. It wasn’t so much the magicians themselves, donning odd capes, more so their unappealing tricks. You can rip off my ear? That’s just rude. You can cascade multicolored ribbons out of your mouth? Disgusting, and you should probably see a doctor. Pull a rabbit out of your hat? Awesome, now poop is everywhere. Who wants to watch a rude man with a clear bladder infection scatter poo everywhere?

That was the predicament facing Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell), a one-time famous magician whose forgettable and simple tricks along with a horrid attitude and sense of grandeur had lost him his audience and eventually his partner Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi). This was also thanks to new street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), who acted like a David Blaine on hallucinogens (I should’ve just said Criss Angel.) and offered feats that made the audience cringe.

The unsatisfyingly basic story in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” followed Wonderstone as he lost and attempted to regain fame. There was the girl who at first hated him and then loved him (Olivia Wilde), the best friend who ditched him, and the antagonist who was on-screen 10 times less then you want him to be. In the end he realized the errors of his selfish ways and together with the former two pulled off an amazing trick, which rocketed him back to fame.

I now feel as if I should have a PB&J sandwhich, some milk and a hour of C-SPAN before heading off to bed at a brisk 9 p.m. No matter the dullness of the story, it was undeniably funny. Though it was hard for him to pull off being a prick, Carell was as funny as ever with the great supporting cast of Buscemi, Wilde, Carrey, James Gandolfini and Alan Arkin as a retired magician. The film was consistently funny enough to distract from the story, especially the physical humor of Carrey, which made all of Gray “illusions” all the more fantastic.

The movie ending could be seen before it started, but as I left the theater, I found it hard not to recommend it to anyone who just wanted a good laugh. That was what the movie’s main goal was anyway. In that department, the lack of Carrey really left more to be desired, which given how much everybody loves him and how easy it is for him to dominate a scene should’ve been as no-brainer a task as seeing the string ascending David Copperfield into the air.

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"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" official site

"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" on IMDb