Will Smith and Aussie It Girl Margot Robbie team up in a sleek slice of escapism from directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, the co-writers and directors of I Love You Phillip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Like their previous films, Focus is a romance with a twist, this time a crime caper filled with pickpocketing and semi-clever cons that pauses occasionally for a soft-focus romantic moment.
When it comes to con flicks it's more Oceans Eleven without the famous ensemble cast than say The Grifters. Focus is light entertainment at the expense of the rich and famous - everyone is tastefully dressed, rich or on their way to being rich, and indulges in expensive hobbies such as Formula One race car driving and high stakes gambling.
It's in this world that Nicky (Smith), a professional conman, and his apprentice Jess (Robbie), move; first as lovers and then separately after Jess realises she was part of one of Nicky's cons. Three years later, they come face to face in Buenos Aires just as Nicky is about to execute a large-scale scam.
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The question is, of course, do you take the money or the love?
Although they have serious trust issues to work through, the romance is given a rather conventional treatment, and the ending should not surprise. When it comes to the cons, a few scenarios surprise with humorous twists. But when we get to the final great swindle they throw it away with a glance. It's a letdown after quite an investment in the setup.
Robbie is gorgeous with just the right amount of vulnerability and spunk, and out-performs Smith, who forgoes his normal cocky comedy for a buff and suave approach. The result, like Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love, is just a bit boring.
Mixing romance, comedy and crime isn't new, but while Focus is probably instructive for those wanting to know how to create a diversion and steal a wallet, it lacks the tension and jeopardy required to give this film the momentum it needs to be more than just forgettable fun.
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie
Director: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
Running Time: 105 mins
Rating: M (Violence, offensive language, sex scenes)
Verdict: Slick, stylish and forgettable.