The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” is what I call a “smile” movie. It’s an amiable, good-natured production that produces plenty of smiles, a chuckle or two, but no big laughs.
Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are a Siegfried and Roy type Vegas magic act who have ruled the strip for a decade. But their show has become as stale and dated as the jokes they prattle through night after night. And a new magician on the scene is stealing their thunder.
His name is Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) and he’s sort of a cross between David Blaine and Criss Angel performing stunts of stunning banality (holding his urine for 4 days) or going for gross out gags (drilling a hole in his own head.)
None of the material is particularly fresh but it’s the funniest Jim Carrey has been in a long time. However that says more about Carrey than it does about this movie.
The bright spot here is old pro Alan Arkin, playing an old school TV magician who inspired Carell as a young boy and becomes a mentor to him after Carell falls on hard times.
He gets more mirth out of a sarcastic reaction shot than many of the film’s biggest set pieces.
I didn’t hate “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” not by a long shot. Goofy looking magicians do strike a certain chord with me as someone who had a magic kit as a young child.
“Burt Wonderstone” is mildly amusing for most of its running time, even though it goes for the easiest and most obvious gags available. The good cast makes the whole experience agreeable. But in the end, who wants to pay $12 just to smile?