The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)
“Absurd, out there, in your face, gross, and ultimately over-hyped.”
GRADE: 3/5 Stars
by Richard Rey
Absurd, out there, in your face, gross, and ultimately over-hyped. All adjectives that describe this quasi-funny comedy starring Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Carrey. If you didn’t like Steve Carell’s gibberish in Bruce Almighty or Jim Carrey’s facial elasticity in The Mask, you ain’t gon’ like this movie. Even with Carell’s occasional self-deprecation (think 40 Year Old Virgin: “A bag of sand? Come on man! You could do better than that.”) and Carey’s best David Blaine impression, this popcorn flick is still only a one watch Wonder-stone. And it’s nowhere close to Incredible.
The movie can be summed up pretty easily: Burt Wonderstone (Carrell) and Anton (Steve Buscemi) play the biggest rooms in Vegas and headline Bally’s hotel as two of the greatest magicians in the world. When up-and-coming street magician, Steve Gray (Carrey), introduces new-age tricks like holding his urine for twelve days straight, the two are caught off-guard as the public applauds these downright disgusting feats. Predictably, the partners break up and become nothing more than washed up has-beens. How does the movie end? Exactly how you’d expect it to.
So, Wonderstone isn’t the most original, but who cares? We just want to know one thing: Does. It. Make. You. Laugh. Well, here’s the thing…sort of, maybe, a little?
Don’t misunderstand me. It’s always funny to see Carell’s mullet and the Buscemi bowl-cut. But wigging out doesn’t necessarily equal laughs. It gets old fast. It isn’t all bad, but it isn’t at all good. The writing prevents this comedy from being a box office hit. It takes too long to get going. That and the fact that maybe people just don’t trust the 51-year-old Jim Carrey anymore.
Whatever the case may be, the movie I saw showcased an Ace Ventura performance by Carrey that, for me, successfully defibrillates an otherwise dead, scarcely-funny-in-recent-years career. Carell’s melodramatic grunts and noises – particularly during the ‘make up’ scene between Burt and Anton was gut-busting hilarious.
However, the flick’s cheesy, stagey, and sentimental start is so bad that there’s hardly anywhere to go but up. And up it does go, but even at its highest point Burt Wonderstone is still just mediocre. If you don’t buy into Carell’s and Carrey’s antics like most movie critics, this’ll be a backyard magic show you’ll definitely want to miss. But don’t fret: it’s an act that’ll soon be disappearing from a theater near you.
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and language
Runtime: 100 min
Director: Don Scardino
Writer: Jonathan M. Goldstein (screenplay), John Francis Daley (screenplay), Chad Kultgen (story), Tyler Mitchell (story)
Starring: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi
Release Date: March 15th, 2013