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It’s no trick; don’t waste $ on “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

A magician is only as good as the luster and jubilation he invigorates into his act and without that fuel, he is nobody.

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 10

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Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter

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Do you remember the first time you ever saw a magic trick? The sheer awe you had at the enchanting illusion the magician had just pulled off? Little boy Burt Wonderstone remembers that feeling the moment he got Rance Holloway’s magic kit for his birthday. Young Burt, being the victim of bullying that he was, utilized that astonishment at magic  as an escape from the horrors of reality. It was that exact feeling of wonderment that transformed Burt’s hopes and dreams, and without that feeling, there is no way that he can enjoy what he does. A magician is only as good as the luster and jubilation he invigorates into his act, and without that fuel, he is nobody.

Fast forward thirty years, and little innocent Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) is now not as innocent as he once was. With the help of his longtime friend and partner in magic Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), over the years he and Burt were skyrocketed to become the most beloved magicians on the Las Vegas strip. However, with the fame and fortune that comes with being a Vegas magician, egotistical Burt and his ailing exuberance for his and Anton’s act subsequently loses him a best friend in Anton, and a job in performing at Dug Munny’s (James Gandolfini) Hotel. To make matters worse, an up and coming illusionist is on the scene in Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose prominence is only adding to the destruction of Burt Wonderstone’s aura.

Through trying times, Wonderstone with the help of his assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde) and his once beloved Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), comes to realize exactly  what he has to do to reinvent the once vast image he had for himself. Wonderstone has to perform with the feeling he had when he first began his love for magic. How can he do it though? Burt knows exactly the answer to that; display the trick of a lifetime. With enough, enthusiasm and help along the way, his quest for finding the love he once had for magic, could soon become a reality once again.

First and foremost, before anything can be analyzed about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, it should be noted with the highest warning and my truest advice, that this movie, to be put nicely, was appalling. At no point during the viewing of this film did I once think that the movie was of any sort of high quality. Having seen the promotions and previews for the movie, I definitely knew what I could expect; either it could be hysterical or it could be a train wreck. Unfortunately and to my dismay, it was the latter. Nevertheless, it is my job to give every movie I critique its due justice and to fairly report what I thought of it, with highlights and in this case more than others, room for improvement.

Although the list is on the shorter side, there are still a few things that I did appreciate about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone that anyone who is willing to see it should know. The two reasons that I didn’t walk out of the film, was the incredibly diverse and funny ensemble that the film encompassed and the sporadic moments of true humor that were presented. There were periodic times where I found myself laughing and to the films credit, I definitely appreciated that. Whenever you have a cast that includes Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Carrey, you know that it will have some laughs. For starters, personally Steve Carell is one of my favorite comedic actors of all time. His roles in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and The 40 Year Old Virgin are simply gut busting, and that definitely carried onto the role of Burt Wonderstone. Carell portrayed Wonderstone perfectly, and he should definitely be commended for doing the best he could with what he was given. In all honesty, his role could have been much better if the writing of the film itself was of a higher caliber.

Alongside Steve Carell, I also admired Steve Buscemi’s take on Anton Marvelton. He wasn’t in the movie as much as I had hoped he would have been, but he was still very good. Lastly, Jim Carrey of the three main characters did a very commendable job. Jim Carrey is also one of my all-time favorite comedy greats, so I have a little bit of a soft spot for him when watching him play this role. Overall, the cast as a consensus was funny, but maybe a little disappointing, having seen their prior works that are almost impossible to live up to.

Besides the cast, the only other thing I can kindly say about the Incredible Burt Wonderstone was the on and off laughs it left me with. It is hard to analyze anything specifically, given the fact that the movie’s quotes aren’t exactly the most memorable, but nevertheless there were still some funny parts. Having explained what was okay about the film, I feel that the other qualities of the disaster of a film, should be revealed. Firstly, the writing of the film was atrocious. Having done research on the film, I saw that Jonathon Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) wrote the film, and given his past, I thought that he could pull this movie off and write it decently. I could not have been more inaccurate though. The writing was so bad, that I could almost say I was cringing listening to the cheesy lines that were being said. I know I said there were some funny quotes, but in retrospect, as a whole the writing was awful.

Additionally, there was nothing memorable about the film. The only thing that I can truly say I will recall a year down the road from this film is, “Wow, that movie was terrible.” Typically, I enjoy movies that I will cherish for a while, no matter what the genre is, and for this film I did not get that everlasting sense of enjoyment. Lastly, I would say the thing I most disliked about the film was the waste of a great, star studded cast. Whenever you have a trio of comedic legends (Maybe Carell and Carey, more than Buscemi), you hope for something to remember, or at least something to keep you laughing every second. Unluckily, the Incredible Burt Wonderstone did not utilize the cast’s potential to its fullest extent, and that is where this movie fails above all.

In final regard, the film was not necessarily a disappointment, rather just not what I had hoped for. By no means did I have high expectations for this movie but nevertheless, I still hoped that it would be something to keep me entertained throughout, and give me the feeling that my ticket was a $6.00 well spent. Sadly, the Incredible Burt Wonderstone did not follow through with doing any of that for me, as I’m sure it left many others feeling the same. This is my first poor review of a film, but that definitely will not discourage me. Please though, for your sake of time and money, do not waste seeing the Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The film is the definition of a Red-Box rental on a rainy day with friends with absolutely nothing else to do. Now that is left up for interpretation, but in my opinion, that isn’t the movie I would want to go out of my way to see, and hopefully; neither is it for you.

It's no trick; don't waste $ on "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone", 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
It’s no trick; don’t waste $ on “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”