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Burt Wonderstone Review

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The Amazing Burt Wonderstone

New Line

PG 13 100 min


Well it's hard to say exactly what happened with this one. Steve Carell isn't a comic genius by any stretch of the imagination but he does have some charisma. Steve Buscemi is always good in his trademark quirky way and Jim Carrey really is a comic genius. Even the second tier players, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett and Alan Arkin are quality actors.

Heck the premise itself is solid, a standard redemption flick about a magician who loses and regains his love for the art. The opening scene itself bodes well for a sympathetic character, Burt Wonderstone (Carrell) in particular, an unpopular kid who learns how to take command of his life through the magic of, well, magic.

Unfortunately after the first 10 minutes the film starts to go off course.

You see Wonderstone, a name changed from something like Winderstein, and Anton (Buscemi) have been best friends and partners since they were little. As the years went by and Burt’s fame grows his buddy Anton becomes the odd man out.

The arrogant and abusive star treats him and everyone around him like garbage especially Anton who has taken more abuse than he can stand. Of course this means when the acts popularity begins to plummet there are very few people out there willing to help.

Unfortunately that includes the movie audience, because this guy is such an insufferable prick I didn't care if he got his life together or not. I couldn't understand why the love interest (Olivia Wilde), puts up with his crap in the first place. As a matter of fact even Steve Gray (Carrey), the arch enemy, isn't really all that threatening, he's just a little disgusting not unlike the characters obvious inspiration David Blaine.

Still, like Blaine, he’s captured a lot of attention to his spectacles of self-abuse, ie. sleeping on a bed of coals or holding his urine for days; stuff like that.

Since you can't blame the actors or even the premise I guess it boils down to a director, Don Scardino, who isn't ready to make the move from sitcoms to the big screen.

The ending is implausible to put it mildly but by then it’s too late to save this trick.





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