Director: Glen Ficarra & John Requa
Featuring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Adrian Martinez, Gerald McRaney, Rodrigo Santoro, BD Wong, Brennan Brown, Robert Taylor, Dotan Bonen, Griff Furst, Stephanie Honoré
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Age Rating: 15
Running Time: 105 Minutes
It is not often that I have to review a film after missing the first twenty minutes of it, but thanks to The O2’s ‘amazing’ parking system around sell-out concerts, this has to be the case! So here we go…
Glen Ficarra and John Requa bring together, the man in black himself, Will Smith and the Wolf of Wall Street’s (2013) ‘Duchess’, Margot Robbie for this intense and exciting crime comedy.
The film’s main theme addresses how deception and love are things which do not go together, which is explored through the tangled web Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith), a highly successful con man, creates for himself when he initially falls for the amateur watch thief Jess (Margot Robbie), who he takes under his team’s wing.
Will Smith is back to his sarcastic and overwhelmingly cool ways in this smart and sassy feature, which comes across as a larger budget version of the BBC hit drama ‘Hustle’ (2004-2012) starring Adrian Lester and Marc Warren. Each ‘con’ scene is tense and nail biting for the audience, but always manages to have a clever twist involved at the end. One scene in particular which stood out, was the NFL gamble, but you’ll have to watch to see what I mean…
Margot Robbie, a nominee for this year’s ‘Rising Star’ award at this year’s BAFTAs, shows much of the same front and potential which we see in The Wolf of Wall Street, but with a smarter and more commanding edge to her.
The story line is fairly simple and easy to follow, but as expected with any con man drama, the twists do keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.
All in all, this makes for a very enjoyable film and one which I cannot criticise that much (this could be because I came in about a third of the way through it! I exaggerate of course…). Even the ending, which I thought I had susses after the first ten minutes I caught, contained a decent curve ball, which in fact, added a lot of comedy value.
The only things I can negatively say are that it is not an incredible film, and it is not Will Smith back to his best, personally. It is what it is, a smart and fun crime comedy, but just do not go into this expecting a film of the year, or even film of the month contender (considering it was released at the end of February 2015).
Recommendation: Worth the admission price and a great night for a date or a group watch! Good to see ‘Big Willie’ back in action but hopefully we will see him in some more demanding roles in the near future.