The Movie: The “comeback story” has been done countless times on the big screen, featuring musicians and athletes and every sort of character in between, but The Incredible Burt Wonderstone injects a bit of flash into this formula by centering around the world of casino magicians in Las Vegas. Steve Carell plays the titular illusionist, whose decades-old schtick leaves him unable to compete with a flashy, arrogant street performer (Jim Carrey).
Steve Buscemi and Olivia Wilde are head-scratchingly underutilized in supporting roles, but Carrey’s mashup of David Blaine and Criss Angel should leave audiences howling, and the always wonderful Alan Arkin delivers a scene-stealing turn as a retired legend in the magic community. It’s goofy and fun, but it’s also a bit too safe, and despite its flair and showmanship, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone doesn’t really deliver anything we haven’t seen before.
The Good: Clever premise. Illusion scenes are enjoyable. Alan Arkin is great.
The Bad: Formulaic and forgettable. Carell plays his usual role, with minor variations.
The Verdict: A funny comedy based on an interesting idea, enjoyable if you don’t mind knowing exactly how it will all play out.