By JAMES LIPINSKI, Guest Writer
2013 hasn’t had much to offer so far in the comedy department. However, March does feature a few comedies that have generated a bit of a buzz. One of which is “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starring Steve Carrel, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Alan Arkin, and Olivia Wilde.
Despite an all-star cast, the film fails to find its legs at any point of its 100-minute screen time. The movie centers around the duo of Burt Wonderstone (Carrel) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi), a pair of magicians who have been performing with each other since they were children. However, their past relationship as friends is non-existent when the curtain falls. Burt has turned into a womanizing jerk, bickering with assistants and even Anton himself.
Carrel feels miscast in this role as it seems to be largely out of his comfort zone to play this type of character. Buscemi also struggles to find a groove on the screen as well. The character is really only given one gag throughout the film and apart from that, his presence in the movie is largely forgettable.
Despite their terrible relationship, the two have been performing at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for a number of years opening up to the same song and performing the same show every night. However, when street magician Steve Gray (Carrey) arrives on the scene, Burt and Anton find their jobs threatened. This results in the two old school magicians to make a desperate attempt at street “magic” that destroys their partnership.
While his whole persona is ridiculous, Carrey seems to be the only actor in this film that shines on-screen. His character pokes fun at street magicians such as Criss Angel and the acts of physical trauma they put themselves through. Each scene he appeared in was the only thing that got me to sit up in my seat and think, “Okay, what’s he going to do this time?”
Unfortunately, Carrey himself was not enough to save this movie from becoming nothing more than a below average comedy. The rest of the movie plays out in a predictable Hollywood formula that provides nothing more than a few subtle laughs throughout. Burt is brought back to his magic roots with the help of his old magician idol Rance Holloway (a solid performance from Arkin) and his assistant Jane (Wilde), whose character does not add much to the movie.
With miscasts, poorly developed characters, and overused gags, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” might have thrived under different conditions. However, the end product is worth nothing more than a cheap laugh that can wait for the DVD release.