Review: ‘Focus’ is sneaky, sleek and stylized


Focus is a comedy, crime and drama film starring actor Will Smith and actress Margot Robbie. It premiered Feb. 27.

Tristan Baez, Writer

With precision and wit (and quite frankly a better story-line), ‘Focus’ knocked off reigning box office champion ‘Fifty Shades’ this weekend, pulling in $19.1 million over the slow weekend.

‘Focus’ follows Nicky (Will Smith), a well respected con-man, his partner Farhad (Adrian Martinez) and their crew on numerous heists, before Nicky’s life gets turned upside down. Heart-throb, and aspiring thief, Jess (Margot Robbie), gets taken in under the wing of Nicky and becomes part of the crew. Their profession puts restraints on trust, and when it’s time for the “big con,” things get convoluted.

The charismatic Will Smith, and talented beaut, Margot Robbie, have phenomenal on-screen chemistry throughout the entire movie, something that gives hope for their upcoming project ‘Suicide Squad.’ The dialogue kept all the character interactions very interesting, and nearly all the comedy is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

While some of the heists are a little far fetched, viewers can still buy into the movie with an ‘Oceans Eleven’ vibe to it (not to compare the two). The story is also very compelling, hooking you almost immediately from the start, and having two leads that are able to capture your attention (ahh… see what I did there?) on the screen at all times.

The best part about the movie is the cinematography. Absolutely gorgeous, the best looking movie since ‘Skyfall’ (and probably in the last several years). The shots are jaw-dropping and look very sleek and crisp. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa use the title ‘Focus’ to their advantage, with shots that go in and out of focus, making for a great and unique visual experience, also worthy in IMAX. The cinematography alone makes for a guaranteed Blu-ray buy.

While the movie keeps you entertained throughout, the lackluster “villain,” unique experimental pacing and mediocre side characters keep ‘Focus’ from being a great film. The first half of the film is absolutely fantastic but takes an odd tone change from that point on. While the second half is still interesting, the story quickly loses traction and the cliche “con twist” doesn’t pay off due to a really uninteresting villain.

Less memorable, side characters were still entertaining, but with two “A-List” actors like Robbie and Smith, it is easy to get caught up in the mix but at times they can be really funny or intimidating.

All charismatic, stylized and great looking, ‘Focus’ steals your attention for nearly two hours, in a fun and far-from-perfect film that is just straight up entertainment and a visual feast.


Final Verdict: 7.2/10

Focus is rated “R” for language, some sexual content and brief violence. Must be 17 years of age or accompanied by an adult to watch this movie.