You wouldn’t say that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a classic, but it does successfully entertain me in the 100 minutes of its run time.
Burt Wonderstone is about Burt, played by Carell, grew up a lonely child. One day he received a magic set as a kid, and with it he met his only friend Anton, played by Buscemi. The two decided to be magician partners, and hope to be great and famous. 20 years later, their dream come true and they become the most famous magician act in Las Vegas. However, their friendship and career are on the edge as Burt becomes a pretentious asshole.
There’s also a new magician named Steve Grey in town. Played by Jim Carrey, Grey is a character draw inspiration from Criss Angel and he’s here to ruin the party. The new act threatens Burt and Anton’s and they soon become desperate. The desperation forces the two to do new acts- a very stupid and dangers act Hot Box. And sure enough, the act failed and the partners fall out.
The movie then becomes Burt’s adventure to re-discover himself. This is where I have my biggest problem with the film. The disbelief. I don’t understand the psychology behinds Burt turning into a pompous asshole from a nerdy kid. The only reason he finds his humble back is by meeting his childhood hero- Rance Holloway, played by Alan Arkin. In fact, Arkin is a wonderful part of the movie. His character is funny, and watching him doing magic is awesome.
Olivia Wilde plays the lovely assistance Jane, who Burt keeps on calling Nicole. My favorite part of her performance is when Burt spots Jane in the crowd and mouths “Nicole,” and Jane mouths back “Jane.” Yeah, in a 100 minutes movie, my favorite part of Olivia Wilde is that part, and that’s how underused the character is. It’s sad that a great actress like Wilde is demean to such a lowly, uninterested love-interest character. It’s a shame that didn’t put better use of her.
Another underused character is Steve Buscemi. While he is a wonderful actor, the only interesting plot he has is him visiting Cambodia.
Jim Carrey’s character is overly obnoxious in my own opinion. I don’t like his character, and I don’t find his actions funny either. Also, I don’t understand why his character has such anger towards Burt. There’re parts in the film where he just purposely trying to ruin his acts. I was hoping by the end of the film, we’ll get a reason for his anger but it wasn’t the case. It’s a shame to see Jim Carrey not trying to improve himself in his career these days.
The ending act is problematic, but surprisingly nothing went wrong at all. My film teacher always tell me that a good movie is when our main characters run into problems. I originally thought that the final act is a perfect opportunity to go wrong, maybe has Carrey’s character somehow ruin the act and explains why he has such hatred to them. But no, none of those happened and the movie ends peacefully.
Overall, the movie is still pretty funny in moments of necessary. However, the simple plot and underused of actors curb the movie’s potential. It’s a shame, really.