Written by / 3/15/2013 / No comments / , , , , , ,

THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE

year: 2013 cast: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Olivia Wilde rating: **1/2
Don’t feel too bad for the not so incredible Burt Wonderstone, who is, when first introduced, a wimpy and downright pathetic little kid getting bullied in 1982. After finding solace through a cheesy magician advertising his magic kit on television, he grows up to be a jerky womanizing millionaire in Las Vegas.

Teamed with childhood partner Anton, the duo are like a platonic Siegfried and Roy without the tigers. They sellout Vegas every night until a sadistic street illusionist/exhibitionist Steve Gray, played with the usual anything-goes physical hijinx by Jim Carrey, pulls off, with cameras rolling, every kind of stunt from getting beat up in public to sleeping on hot coals, turning Burt and Anton’s popular old school act into a thing of the past.

Steve Carell plays Burt as an unlikable over-the-top Rat Pack chauvinist who can only get better with time. Even Olivia Wilde’s sexy assistant Jane, who isn’t aware of how sexy she is, realizes her boss is a shallow one-dimensional buffoon. But when Carrey’s Gray gets more and more popular, Burt hits the skids and winds up with no money and, having split with Anton (Steve Buscemi), he becomes the youngest member of an old age home for Vegas performers. Here he meets his childhood hero Rance Holloway, played by Alan Arkin, and learns to do magic with passion and feeling.

Alas, the Carell/Arkin friendship had the potential of a comedic Luke Skywalker being trained by Obi Wan, but the kinship never really pans out. And before you know it Burt's romantically connected with the gorgeous Jane and, after much too easily making up with Anton, the three complete against Grey for a big Vegas comeback. Since none of the performers seem real enough to be taken seriously, once it’s time to choose which act is legitimate, they're all either doing a parody of David Copperfield, David Blaine, or anyone’s corny uncle who did predictable card tricks on holidays.

A few laughs occur throughout the ninety-minute ride, but with so many talented comedic actors it could have/should have been a much better act.
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