Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published March 15th 2013
As Heidi Klum says, in fashion, one day you're in, and the next you're out. The same could be said for comedy, and it's hard to get it out of your head that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone the movie is just as tired and rote as Burt Wonderstone the character.
Just as Steve Carell's Evan Almighty was no match for Carrey's Bruce Almighty, so it is that his old school magician Burt Wonderstone is made redundant by the extreme antics of Carrey's Steve Gray. But while Carrey steals the show by giving an edge the film otherwise lacks, his character still doesn't go far enough to make this comedy sing. It's more of a grin-fest than a laugh out loud experience.
It's a pity, because Carell has such an in-built charm and a natural way of making us laugh, but his character isn't really pushed into anything approaching inspired comedic scenarios. His Siegrfried and Roy style Vegas magician is drawn into moments of silliness, and that's when the film works best, but it's never elevated above the level of just being quite amusing.
And like most comedies, it's very much a male-skewed affair, with the only substantial female character (played by Olivia Wilde) being an attractive assistant, both in terms of within Wonderstone's magic act, and in the film's structure. Of course, Wilde is also the love interest, which is harder to believe than any magic act conjured up on stage.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn't a bad film, it just feels like it belongs in the 80's, with Burt Wonderstone's cheesy magic show.