REVIEW: FOCUS

CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Margot Robbie (The Legend of Tarzan)
Adrian Martinez (No Activity)
Rodrigo Santoro (Rio)
Gerald McRaney (Mike & Molly)
B. D. Wong (Gotham)
Robert Taylor (Kong: Skull Island)
Dominic Fumusa (Nurse Jackie)
Brennan Brown (I Love You Phillip Morris)

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus (2015)Seasoned con-man Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) goes to an upscale restaurant, where an inexperienced grifter, Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie), seduces him, and then pretends they’ve been caught by her jealous husband. When the deception fails, Nicky advises them never to lose focus when faced with unexpected situations. Jess finds him in another nightclub a few days later and convinces Nicky to become her mentor. Nicky tells her about how his father, a con man named Bucky Spurgeon, was forced to shoot his grandfather when a con went wrong, a maneuver he calls “the Toledo Panic Button”.Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus (2015)Jess follows Nick to New Orleans, where she is introduced to Nicky’s crew as well, including the obese and profane Farhad (Adrian Martinez). She picks a few pockets as a test, and soon Nicky and Jess develop a romantic relationship, upsetting Nicky, who was taught by his father to never become emotionally involved with anyone in their line of business. At the 17th Associated Football Franchise of America Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Nicky gets into a round of increasingly extravagant bets with gambler Liyuan Tse (B.D. Wong), eventually losing all of the money the crew has earned.Margot Robbie in Focus (2015)To win it back, Nicky asks Tse to pick any player on or off the field and says that Jess will guess the number picked. A distraught Jess scans the field and notices Farhad wearing jersey number 55 and realizes it is another con. They take Tse for millions of dollars. Nicky explains to Jess how Tse had been programmed to pick 55 since he arrived, with subtle, subconscious prompts throughout his day. Afterwards, Nicky, wary of his growing emotional involvement, leaves Jess by the side of the road with her cut. He instructs the driver to take her to the airport. Jess cries as her limo drives off, leaving Nicky to climb into another waiting car.Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus (2015)Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires, working for billionaire motorsport team owner Rafael Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro). Garriga needs to beat a team headed by Australian businessman McEwen (Robert Taylor) to win the championship. Nicky will pretend to be a disgruntled technician on Garriga’s team willing to sell Garriga’s custom fuel use algorithm EXR. Instead he will sell McEwen a bogus version which will slow their car down during the race. At a pre-race party, Nicky runs into Jess, who is now Garriga’s girlfriend. After faking heavy drinking upon seeing Jess, Nicky has a convincing fight with Garriga in public and after being thrown out, is recruited by McEwen to provide the component.  Nicky begins pursuing Jess again, and they eventually rekindle their relationship. The head of Garriga’s security entourage, Owens (Gerald McRaney), is suspicious and narrowly misses catching the two together. Nicky delivers the component to McEwen for three million euros but also sells it to the other teams for similar amounts.BD Wong and Margot Robbie in Focus (2015)Nicky and Jess attempt to return to the United States together. However, they are caught by Garriga’s men and taken to Garriga’s garage. Jess is bound and gagged whilst Nicky is given a beating. Nicky has actually sold the real EXR to all of the various teams. Garriga is convinced that Jess had something to do with Nicky gaining access to EXR and begins to suffocate Jess by holding her nose. In order to save Jess, Nicky explains that he gained access to EXR through tricking Jess into believing he still had feelings for her. That the necklace he had given to Jess was equipped to secretly record Garriga’s password and login information. He explains that Jess was conned and knew nothing about this. However, Jess then reveals that she was only trying to seduce Garriga in order to steal his valuable watch and to make Nicky jealous. Nicky promises to come clean in order to spare Jess’s life but Owens shoots him in the chest, causing a horrified Garriga to leave. Owens then reveals himself to be Nicky’s father, Bucky, and assures Jess that he avoided any major arteries. He simply employed the “Toledo Panic Button.” Bucky then tapes up Nicky’s wounds and draws excess blood out of his son’s chest with a metal plunger so that he can breathe again. They flee the garage in Garriga’s vehicle.Will Smith in Focus (2015)Bucky drives Nicky and Jess to the hospital to treat Nicky’s punctured lung and departs with Nicky’s money as a reminder of the consequences of losing focus. After he leaves, Nicky notices that Jess snatched Garriga’s watch before he left the warehouse, and a smiling Nicky and Jess then go into the hospital together.Not really sure how this film has got some poor reviews. It was clever, funny and overall kept my focus. Will Smith is fantastic in this film, not being an over-exuberant character, which I feel some people were expecting in this film. His on screen relationship with Margot Robbie was very good, and I feel she has not got as much credit for this film as she deserves. Some fantastic camera shots, and great locations add a little bit extra to this film. I would advise not listening to reviews and going to see it for yourself and making the decision on your own. Enjoy!

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