Film trailer doesn’t do it justice
There’s only one place where people love being doublecrossed, and that’s at the cinema.
Being bamboozled by a loveable rogue is part of why heist films – packed with twists and turns that keep us guessing – are always a treat.
Slick Rom-Com-Con Focus is just such a treat, dishing up the double, triple and quadruple crosses like it’s two-for-one day at the candy bar.
When Nicky (Will Smith) meets a pretty girl in a hotel bar, his solo night out takes a turn for the romantic.
The girl, Jess (Margot Robbie), is as smart and funny as she is beautiful and the pair hit it off all the way back to her hotel room.
Which is where Nicky, the infamous son of an infamous conman, rumbles Jess’s rough and ready plan to con him out of his wallet.
Realising who Nicky really is, Jess, pleads with him to teach her the ropes.
She follows him to New Orleans for Super Bowl Weekend, where he and his team have cons running all over the city, grifting locals and Super Bowl tourists alike.
Nicky agrees to take her on, and things get hot and heavy between them right up until the big multimillion dollar con, where stone cold Nicky uses an unwitting Jess as distracting window dressing.
Big job done, Nicky abandons Jess with her cut of the ill-gotten gains. He leaves her distraught, and himself questioning the whole ‘‘love ’em and ditch ’em’’ game he’s been running.
It sets them up neatly for a reunion riddled with double crosses, lies and ever- rising stakes.
There is an important lesson in Focus, and that is never to gauge a film by its trailer.
OK, it’s not always true, but in this instance the shoddy, mirthless, hatchet job that was Focus’ teaser didn’t do this pleasingly flashy film justice.
Somebody better be getting fired somewhere, because Focus is actually a tidy little heist film, packed with wit, charm and enough twists and turns to give Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 a good run.
It’s all down to a pair of leads who spark off each other so well the ticket price ought to include a bucket of water to put out the fires. There aren’t many actresses who can match Smith’s fast banter and easy charm so naturally, but whatever it takes, Robbie’s got it in spades.
If there’s one complaint, it’s that the twists are sometimes a little too pat and the final stakes push credulity. Still, it’s fun.
As sharp as heist films come, Focus is one worth losing your purse for.
Dynamic duo: Will Smith and Margot Robbie play Nicky, a jaded conman, and Jess, a rookie pick-pocket, in heist caper Focus.