Following the ultimate disappointment that was After Earth, Will Smith’s latest film, Focus was a welcome variation from his recent usual. First of all there was a full cast of actors, unlike many of his solo endeavors where the film centers around him or in the case of After Earth, around his son, Jaden Smith. ith multiple players involved, Smith isn’t in a world of his own trying to carry an entire film. being the only people around. The change of pace was enough to get some faithful supporters into the theaters but would the film be able to stray away from clichés just enough to be truly entertaining to all audiences?
Directed by Glenn Ficarra, Focus centers around Nicky Spurgeon (Will), a third generation hustler who’s been able to stay successful by carefully planning and playing to the best odds. Enter Jess (Margot Robbie), a beautiful, but inexperienced, wannabe hustler. She wants Nicky to take her under his wing, but with their chemistry they quickly realize they want much more from each other than the joy of quick hustles.
I found myself constantly issuing praise for this film as I watched, primarily because it continues to pleasantly surprise. The plot could’ve easily been simple, or just offer a slight new take of something we’ve seen before, but instead it turns out to be a well thought out film featuring a plot of substance. The film is only about an hour, forty minutes but there are several significant plot twists. Every time I tried to guess what would happen next, I ended up being wrong.
Focus is a love story, but surely not in the conventional sense. It doesn’t drag on before it gets to the point and your dropped right into the action from the start. No need to second guess the film or Will Smith this time around. You can simply sit back and be entertained. Truly.
Focus receives a PAR