Burt Wonderstone has you wondering where the funny went in this big screen comedy
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 17, 2013 20:03
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone was directed by Don Scardino and produced by New Line and Warner Bros. Studios. This comedy, aimed at the audience familiar with the humor of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey, attempted to both juxtapose classical magic shows with those of personalities like Chris Angel or David Blaine, and tell the story of a famous magic show duo trying to survive the changes of the entertainment business. Jim Carrey’sSteve Gray (Jim Carrey), gains attention by doing grotesque stunts and continuously challenges the tired disappearing acts and card tricks from Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Bushemi).
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (2013)
NEW LINE CINEMA, Rated PG-13, running time 100 minutes
This reviewer's score: B-
As fewer and fewer people attend “The Incredible Burt and Anton Show”, the two strive to update their act and end up damaging their friendship and slipping further away from magician stardom. Carell, humbled by his now minimal income and frugal lifestyle, ends up entertaining at a nursing home, where many retired Las Vegas performers live. With the inspiration of a habitant of the nursing home, and the opportunity for a chance to get a contract at the newest casino hotel, the duo is presented with another chance at stardom, using a brand new yet still classic trick.
Themes that were evident included the importance of friendship, how extreme entertainment can get, not giving up, and finding joy in your job by doing what you love. The movie primarily followed the changes that Carell went through individually, as he went from a conceded, famous magician to an ordinary man who found a job in the classified ads. The beginning scenes of the movie include magnificent and large-prop magic tricks, with costumes and bright lights, when the duo is in their prime. In contrast, Carell wears plain colors and lives in a modest, some may even say crummy, apartment. This change of tones gives the viewer the feel of a loss of glamour and excitement, yet brings Carell down to earth, where he displays more relatable emotions.
This film was made for the big screen. I found it to be entertaining and it kept my interest as it devoted an ample amount of time to both emotion and entertainment. The extreme acts performed by Carrey, to mock modern-day magicians, were so ridiculous that they made you laugh yet cringe. And the pompous-type humor that Carell normally displayed when on the cast of NBC’s The Office is seen through his character, which I personally appreciated. The humor in the transitional parts of the movie was not very comical, though. Much of Carell’s conversations with Jane, played by Olivia Wilde, who served as the “lovely assistant” and the voice of reason, fell into this category, and did not keep my attention. The film is one that both men and women will enjoy. Viewers should expect a good laugh but not much of a warm, good-moral ending, with a silly main cast like this.
I rate this movie a B-. The stunts and magic are well done; the satirical humor of real-life personalities was extreme but accurate; and the roles were well casted. But the tone was cheesy at times, which can narrow the audience, and the viewer almost had to have a pre-existing appreciation for the humor of both Carrey and Carell before seeing the movie to really appreciate it. I attended the theater to see it with a group of males and females, and all of them enjoyed it.