“Focus”: the con film that won’t steal your money

Let’s face it, as a 46 year old man Will Smith looks better than I ever will in my early thirties.  It’s a truth I wake up and fall asleep to daily… sigh. Enough dwelling on my crippling Will Smith centric body issues, it’s time for a review! Focus is the story of seasoned grifter Nicky (Will Smith) as he teaches “intern” Jess (Margot Robbie) the ropes of grifting.  Twists and turns ensue that are satisfying enough that fans of con movies won’t be disappointed.

There are few things I love more than a good grift. Seeing experts in their craft work is a thrilling and somewhat unnerving experience. When Focus highlights these things it is an intriguing look at the execution, tension and perseverance required to survive in the grifters world. Spoiler, it’s not easy… Will Smith and Margot Robbie both pull of their roles well. It’s nice to have charismatic Will Smith back after the After Earth fiasco of 2013. Meeting Smith more than halfway is newcomber Margot Robbie, known by most from 2013’s The Wolf of Wallstreet.

The chemistry between Margot Robbie and Smith is undeniable despite the 22 year age difference.

At times Focus seems to be everything but clear on what it is. Though beginning and ending were great, the middle portion of the film becomes muddled by sub plots and drama that never really connected with me. That being said the majority of it was brought together at the end for the major “Ah-hah!” moment but the fact that I briefly lost interest should be noted.

Though not the best con movie I’ve ever seen, fans of these movies will likely be satisfied by Focus. It’s a decent entry into the genre by new-ish directors Glenn Ficarra, John Requa known for I Love You Man and Bad Santa.

So, what did you think of Focus? Did it scratch the con-artist itch you’ve been having? Need some more? Might I also suggest seasons 1-6 of BBC’s Hustle all of which are available on Hulu Plus. You won’t be disappointed. Be sure to check out Will Smith and Margot Robbie in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie from DC, in which they portray Deadshot and Harley Quinn respectively.

For a full content breakdown check out the links below.

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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.