‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’: Not all that incredible

By Molly Grosskreutz
A&E Editor
and Valerie Groebner
A&E Assistant Editor

In Don Scardino’s film “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” best friends and magic duo Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) rule the Vegas scene for a 10-year stretch. When a younger and more intrigu¬ing street magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), comes along and performs ludicrous acts on the Vegas strip, Burt and Anton must prove that their act can be revitalized.
VG: I was pleased at how unpredictable the film was. With a cast like this (Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini), I was expecting a lot of dirty and suggestive humor and content. I was wrong! There were some family-friendly elements, and lessons for people of varied ages are tucked away within the scenes.
MG: You thought the movie was unpredictable? I didn’t find any¬thing surprising about it. Spoiler: friends fight, make up. We’ve seen it thousands of times. This premise had the potential to tell that formulaic story in a new way, but it was so predictable and pedantic that it fell flat.
VG: One thing that called my at¬tention was the message this film conveyed and the manner in which it was conveyed. As time goes on, celebrities and performers of all sorts get old and are taken over by something or someone newer and hotter. Using the example of rising and fading performers in Vegas is clever and spot on.
MG: I agree that this movie tackles a very relevant phenomenon in American pop culture. I wish they had refocused the whole “be loyal to your friends no matter what” thing toward what I believe to be the more compelling conflict: self-preservation.
VG: I really liked how the Las Vegas atmosphere was displayed. I personally have not been to Las Vegas, but the cast portrayed Vegas to appear crowded, gaudy, fame-hungry and over-the-top. The wardrobe line-up was phenomenal and tacky—just like Las Vegas ap¬pears to be.
MG: I’m with you on that. If there’s one thing this movie did well, it was capturing the excessive and gaudy rhinestone fashions of Vegas. And the hair. Such glorious and luscious hair.
VG: I was irritated and disappointed at the way in which Burt and Anton climb back to the top of the entertainment realm. SPOILER: drugging an audience as a means of performing the most amazing magic trick is not smart, and clearly illegal. I guess, though, this was the example of the desperate measures celebrities take to stay at the top or make their way back to the top.
MG: I was disappointed in the level of Wilde’s involvement in the movie. Unfortunately, she was the pretty accessory at the men’s sides, which I suppose is realistic, but Wilde is capable of so much more.

Final Verdict:
MG: Thumbs down.
VG: Thumbs down.

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