Focus. 2015. (dir. Ficara)

With Will Smith.

FocusThis movie about con artists starts with an old pro teaching a young novice the tricks of the trade.    I have seen a similar set up  before.  Think of Paper Moon when the woman was a girl aged ten.  An old pro teaches a youngster how the con works, just as his father and his grandfather, before, taught him.   It’s entertaining when Nicky (Will Smith) shows us how to pick someone’s pocket.  I love a good con game movie, have, especially when the victims are clueless and seem to have money to spare.  Here’s my problem.

When Jess (Robbie),  the neophyte,  is a woman whose back story is missing, and whose character comes from how she wears makeup and clothes fitting for a call girl, my feminism kicks in.

Will Smith can still make me smile, and some of his lines actually made me laugh.  But  no matter how much they are pretending to make Jess a convincing con, she was eye candy and not much more.  Nicky got to wear the same dark pants throughout.  I could talk about the holes in the plot, the amusing sidekick, the surprise ending, but the co-star who was used for her body just stuck in my craw.




About Patricia Markert

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