Movie Review The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Posted: February 8, 2014 in Comedy
Tags: ,

burt wonderstone

Albert Weinselstein  (Mason Cook, Steve Carrell) is a boy who gets bullied and has an absentee mother.  His life takes a turn for the better when he gets a videotape of famous magician, Rance Holloway. (Alan Arkin) He meets Anthony Mertz (Luke Vanek, Steve Buscemi) in school, and the two devote their lives to magic.  They become the biggest magic act in the country, and they sign a large 10 year deal in Las Vegas with casino magnate, Doug Munny. (James Gandolfini) While Albert and Anthony are getting fat and happy as Burt and Anton, their act is getting stale, and competition is on the horizon in the form of daredevil magician Steve Gray. (Jim Carrey) As Steve gets more popular, Burt and Anton’s crowds start to dwindle.  Burt and Anton try to do a trick in Steve Gray style, and it ends in disaster.  Burt and Anton split up, their assistant, Jane (Olivia Wilde) leaves to become Steve Gray’s assistant.  Can Burt rise back to prominence from the bottom of  the barrel?  Can Burt and Anton repair their friendship and fix the act?

Don’t watch this movie.  The satire is pretty obvious, they are trying to satirize either Seigfried and Roy, or David Copperfield, who is ironically in this movie, and Jim Carrey is obviously trying to satirize David Blaine or Chris Angel.  The problem is the plot has been done before.  A nobody becomes a big star, who gets to full of himself, and gets his comeuppance. It’s been done in The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and The Campaign, both of those are better movies, and deserve your time more than this movie.

The acting is subpar, only Buscemi and Alan Arkin get any laughs al all, and even they only get mild laughs.  Steve Carrell is going through the motions as the passive aggressive jerk that he played in the Office.  The great James Gandolfini is absolutely wasted, and Jim Carrey who has done great movies like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, reverts back to making faces and mugging for the camera.  Olivia Wilde is nothing more than what she always is, a draw for the teenage boy crowd.  She is not at all plausible as a love interest in this movie. She’s 30 and Carrell is 51, that’s a huge difference.

The writing is dull and predictable, and the direction is not noteworthy. On top of everything else wrong with this movie, there is obvious and shameful product placement.  No movie should ever have product placement.  It’s bad enough we have to sit through ads in the theater, and pay 15 bucks a ticket, we should all demand no product placement in movies.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.  Watch the people watching this movie with you disappear.

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