Sunday, August 11, 2013

Now at Netflix: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) - Directed by Don Scardino; Written by Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Frances Daley; Starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr.

By Kenny Howell

I didn't hate The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

I know, I'm as surprised as you.

Everything I had read about this was that it was a complete waste of time, and while it's not very good, I can't say that I didn't enjoy it at times. When the child actor who plays the young Steve Buscemi declares early on that his doctor has prescribed him testosterone because he is "dangerously close to being a girl," it kind of had me hooked.

Carell plays the title character, a famous musician in the David Copperfield vein, who has run a super successful Las Vegas show for many years with his partner Anton (Buscemi). Success has gone to his head, so when a new magician comes into town played by Jim Carrey named Steve Gray, it pulls people away from Wonderstone's old style show. Gray is a David Blaine/Criss Angel type who doesn't really do what Wonderstone considers magic. He does street tricks and endurance exercises on his show Brain Rapist. But that's what people want, and Wonderstone is out of a job. With no money, he is sent to live in a retirement community for old Vegas showtypes, and meets the man who got him into magic in the first place, Rance Holloway. He must rebuild his life and his act to get back on top.

The movie is formulaic, and stupid, but I did laugh several times, and this is a comedy, so that is kind of what it is meant to do. It is not much more than that, but it was enough to get me through a Sunday afternoon.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is available on Redbox, iTunes and Amazon Instant.

Rating: **

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