Film & TV no image

Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie

0

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review

Director: Don Scardino.
Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini and Alan Arkin. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is an engrossing comedy that in places is simply hilarious.

Burt Wonderstone, along with fellow magician, Anton Marvelton, is a household name when it comes to magic. The two famous prestidigitators have been at the zenith of their profession for years. They constantly play to a full-house at a premier venue in Las Vegas. They have great fame and wealth yet something is missing.

Wonderstone’s overbearing personality has been a huge problem and their act which, although technically brilliant, has been turgid through a lack of invention and countless repetition. Things start to disintegrate for the duo as Steve Gray, a daring stuntman, arrives to become the ‘next big thing’.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) And Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell)

The film’s strongest aspect is in its casting. There are no weaknesses in either the main or the support cast. The leading actors blend drama with comedy which is quite a feat as the two main aspects of performance are not mutually exclusive.

‘Extremely misogynistic he leaves a trail of disappointed fans’

Steve’s Carell delivers a fine performance as the egomaniacal Burt Wonderstone. A compelling mix of pomposity,  mild insanity and chauvinism with a liberal sprinkling of charm, Wonderstone is the answer to the question of what happens when you refuse to develop after all your dreams come to pass.

Burt is immature, both professionally and privately. Extremely misogynistic he leaves a trail of disappointed fans – mostly attractive females – who have bought into his self-created affable persona.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell), Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) and Jane (Olivia Wilde)

Anton Marvelton, portrayed with aplomb by Steve Buscemi, acts as a foil to Wonderstone. Genuinely kind and friendly, Marvelton offers a stark contrast to his co-stars less than savoury antics.

 ‘Carrey perfectly captures the unpredictable manic nature of the attention-seeking but highly enigmatic character.’

One of the stand-out roles of the film is played by Jim Carrey who delivers a mesmeric performance as the entertainer Steve Gray. Carrey perfectly captures the unpredictable manic nature of the attention-seeking but highly enigmatic character. What’s more, Gray is hilariously funny in a comedy splashed with moments of joyous mirth.

Olivia Wilde’s Jane treats us to a memorable comic opening as Wonderstone’s insufferable ego loses a member of staff. Her character provides a welcome brake for Wonderstone who eventually careens into a descending spiral of loss.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Rick The Implausible (Jay Mohr)

Rance Holloway, played by Alan Arkin, Hotel owner, Doug Munny (James Gandolfini) and Rick The Implausible (Jay Mohr) round off a great support cast and add immeasurably to the comedy.

‘It isn’t necessarily due to a conflict between drama and comedy.’

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone does suffer somewhat from a crisis of identity. There is a disconnect when the movie suddenly shifts from between comedic and drama. It isn’t necessarily due to a conflict between drama and comedy. It is more subtle than this. The film cannot decide if it wants to be a tragicomedy or an out-and-out comedy.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Film Review Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) And Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin)

There is also a section devoted to exploring how the younger Wonderstone was bullied that delves too close to sentimentality. Perhaps the writers were trying to weave themselves into the narrative when there was no need to do so? Nevertheless, for the most part the film never strays too far into mawkish territory and springs plenty of surprises just when you least expect.

The chief thing that will stick in your memory are the outrageously funny scenes interspersed with superbly creative magical moments. A truly good comedy. As an aside, for those who have an interest in magic you don’t have to have a degree in advanced physics to figure out that the film is probably somewhat based upon two real-life magicians.

Recommended Viewing

You can obtain The Incredible Burt Wonderstone here from Amazon. Amazon.co.uk For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone from here. Amazon.ca For Canada: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.


About the Author



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑