‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ highlights the Las Vegas magic act performed by childhood friends, Burt (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi). Burt and Anton have been partners for over 20 years. As a result, their act and friendship has dwindled to a mere shell of its former self. When Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), an edgier street performer begins to steal their spotlight, the duo tries to reinvent their stale act.
Steve Carell is amusing as the narcissistic Burt who refuses to alter the act, despite their dwindling audience. He believes that true magic is far better than the shock performance of the usurper, Steve Gray. But, his performance is nothing we haven’t seen before. It is just Carell doing Carell. Like his character, it appears he needs to revamp his acting technique.
Jim Carrey steals the show as the outrageous shock artist who carries out dangerous tricks to wow the crowd. His over-the-top portrayal of the ‘rock star’ illusionist is side-splitting. It seems that this is the spot that Steve Carell held in Carrey’s ‘Bruce Almighty (2003)’ when he played a memorable character in that film. This fresh performance is reminiscent of his earlier years on the television show, ‘In Living Color.’
Steve Buscemi is equally clueless as Burt’s partner, Anton. This is evident when he brings magic kits to the starving Cambodian children.
Alas, magic fails to save ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.’ While there are some entertaining moments, the movie is formulistic and boring. Surprises are few with a plot that leads to an obvious conclusion.
This film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "sexual content, dangerous stunts,
a drug-related incident and language."