*Note from the Editor*
Everyone please welcome Brett to the team! He’s going to be covering movies, news and various random stuff as he sees fit. His first review will be tackling things from a much different perspective and layout than our main review, with a much more laid back approach — hence the Average Joe angle of it, so sit back and enjoy the show.*
Every so often I go out to see a movie without any prior knowledge about it. Before Jeremy handed me a ticket on Tuesday I didn’t even know Will Smith was starring in a new movie. This review will be from that perspective, I avoided the hype, never saw the trailer and went in metaphorically blind.
So here is what I think.
I struggled a bit with the story. There are a lot of very well written scenes but the movie kind of felt like it was just a compilation of those scenes. There is no overarching villain, just a very bad guy at the end. There isn’t really much of a moral conflict, Nicky and Jess (Will Smith and Margot Robbie) never have a problem with their profession of choice. You get to meet a lot of characters, many of which are very fun to watch, but they remain just that and few become tied to the story.
The best part of the story, the best written and best put together was the love story between the two protagonists. This love story really drives Focus whereas the action is there purely for entertainment value. Don’t get me wrong, the action is very enjoyable but it felt more like an accessory to the larger love story picture.
The romantic story is definitely the redeeming quality of the story line, but unfortunately it doesn’t really push the innovation envelope. You’ve seen this love story before. The hero is a mysterious character with a rough past and he is a master at what he does. The heroine aspires to learn from the hero and through training the two grow closer together. Sure there are some rough spots along the way, but in the end they will work together to beat the bad guy. They love story could have been more but it definitely could have been worse too. The exciting action scenes interwoven between the romantic plot definitely help the over told love story feel fresh.
The comedy in Focus is smart. The moments before a laugh, the plot delivers a wide gamut of emotions, which make the delivery of the laugh that much more enjoyable. I wouldn’t go as far as to bill Focus as a comedy, but I want to save that argument for a future opinion article.
Walking out of the theater I felt that Focus is fun, entertaining, and exciting. Focus isn’t extremely deep and I would be surprised if it is a stand out in Will Smith’s catalog of movies, but it doesn’t have to be. This can be what it is, a fun, feel good movie that couples can enjoy seeing over the Valentine’s Day weekend… or a week later thanks to 50 Shades of Grey.