What is it about? When Jess (Margot Robbie) meets Nicky (Will Smith), things don’t really happen as smoothly as expected. Despise Jess’ natural talent, Nicky doesn’t fall for her seduce-and-rob routine as he knows the tricks of the trade, having been in the con business since childhood. But Jess is persistent and determined to learn from him and find a way into the big leagues. Nicky eventually agrees to take her on as an apprentice and teaches her some moves such as how to keep someone’s focus on one hand while the other hand is reaching for their wallet, or how to break someone’s heart by leaving them abruptly and without any explanation. She learns the last lesson the hard way but it serves her well: when their paths cross again, three years later, she knows that she won’t be fooled a second time. Or will she?
Verdict: Margot Robbie and Will Smith are pretty convincing on their own as high-level pickpockets and the great alchemy between them adds to the credibility of their on-screen romance. And they both also interact in a very natural way with their co-stars, Adrian Martinez, a hilarious member of Nicky’s crew, and Gerald McRaney who plays the mysterious Ownes.
Glenn Ficarra and John Recca (I Love You Phillip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love) direct some very nice sequences of polished and well rehearsed mass-robbery. The directors, who also wrote the screenplay, keep multiple twists running that make the movie exciting. You know that something is going to happen and lead the story elsewhere but you never know which way it’s going to go. All the clues are scattered, from the beginning to the end, but the pieces of the puzzle are only completed at the very end of the film.
Final Words: Exciting and enjoyable, Focus will make you laugh, stress out and it won’t fail to surprise you until the very last scene. Even if some of the twists are predictable, directors Glenn Ficarra and John Recca always keep you doubting!
Focus (15) is in cinemas on 27 February 2015.