Running time: 105 minutes
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Comic book fans are keeping their eyes on Focus to get a glimpse of what may await them in the upcoming Suicide Squad, where Will Smith and Margot Robbie will be teaming again to play Deadshot and Harley Quinn. The amazing chemistry between these two actors, in the hands of the duo who brought us Crazy, Stupid, Love, should be enough to catch a lot of people’s attention.
Nicky (Will Smith) is a veteran con man who takes an amateur con artist, Jess (Margot Robbie), under his wing and they get romantically involved. After pulling a big scheme during a football game, Nicky decides the best thing for Jess is to let her go. Things start to go south when they run into each other again three years later.
Will Smith as the con man Nicky Spurgeon is as charismatic and likable as always and thankfully, his kids are not in the movie. And just like Jess evolves from being an amateur con artist and Nicky’s apprentice, to be at his same level, Wolf of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie holds her own against the movie star, showing some acting skills and proving that she is more than just a pretty face. Their relationship never stops being engaging as they are equals and you are never sure who is playing who in each scenario.
The problem here is that Focus needs to rely heavily on their chemistry, because the actual plot of the movie doesn’t start until 50 minutes in. Curiously enough, those first 50 minutes are the most entertaining. We get to know the characters, how they work, how their relation develops and how they pull off an impressive con during a football game. But after the three years gap, the tone changes completely and doesn’t quite fit with what the movie has stablished until that point, making it feel like two different movies. One takes place in New Orleans and the sequel in Buenos Aires.
Alright, maybe my expectations were high and I wanted something at the level of Ocean’s Eleven, but if the entire movie had been like the New Orlean’s part I would have been satisfied. Yes, it could have been more believable because some of the tricks were a bit far-fetched and you will never see the final twist coming simply because it was like a last-minute decision. But is enjoyable and even if it is just for the chemistry between Margot Robbie and Will Smith and how beautifully shot it is, Focus is worth checking out. And if you are one of those comic book adaptation fans, it will leave you feeling really good about Suicide Squad.