Film Review: Nothing Magical About ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’

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CHICAGO – It’s this simple – “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” just isn’t funny. Sure, there are a few laughs here and there and some of the supporting cast works but the leads are woefully miscast and most of the jokes hit with all the awkward silence of a Bennigan’s tableside magician who guesses the wrong card. The script borders on Happy Madison caliber and watching talented people try to save it but just get bored in the process is tough. Recast the movie with the cast of “Grown Ups” and critics everywhere would put it on their worst of the year lists without a word changed in the script.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Horrendously miscast Steve Carell stars as the title character, one half of a Siegfried & Roy-esque Las Vegas duo with childhood friend Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi). Burt & Anton have been doing the same tired show for years and the dwindling interest and ticket sales have started to aggravate casino owner Doug (James Gandolfini). Burt is an egotistical ass, the kind of blustery character that seems more suited to Will Ferrell. He could be Ron Burgundy’s cousin. Anton is much meeker, probably due to being called homely, even by his best friend, most of his life. Both of them are kind of annoying.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” in our reviews section.

The world of Burt & Anton is shaken when a street magician in the vein of David Blaine or Criss Angel, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), appears on the Vegas scene. Gray is aggressively violent in his acts, cutting his face to pull out a spectactor’s card from under his skin or burning his arm at a kid’s birthday party, completely unconcerned that the wee magic fans may copy his act. He’s also becoming quite famous with his stunt magic, which forces Anton & Burt to try and alter their gimmicks. When a bit in a box over the Strip goes horribly awry, the two break up and the show is canceled. Can Burt make it back to the spotlight? Maybe he can with the help of a retired magic legend, Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), and a former assistant (Olivia Wilde), who inexplicably still believes in him.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” review.

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” stars Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, and Alan Arkin. It opens on March 15. 2013 and is rated PG-13.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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