Dave’s 2-Word Review:
Movies revolving around the topic of magic are often harder to come by than you would initially think. It really is a shame, because there have been some really great movies that had to do with it. Sure, the “Harry Potter” films had countless magic in it, but in the sense of performing arts? It’s rarer than it really should be. When they are made, it’s usually a very serious movie, or a very comedical movie, and in the case of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”, they chose the latter, and wisely so. Jim Carrey has starred alongside Steve Carell in a number of films, and there is a good reason for that.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” centers its focus on, unsurprisingly, a man named Burt Wondersone (Steve Carell) who is a world-known magician, and has been for several years, alongside his partner, Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi). They have run the same exact act for thirty years, calling it their magical friendship. When newcomer Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) shows up with his acts, all focus completely looks the other way, instantly making Burt’s act a thing of the past. Steve Gray is obviously a rip-off of Chris Angel, while Chris Angel stars in “Mindfreak”, Steve stars in “Brainrape”. The thing is, he doesn’t do magic, he just harms himself in extreme ways that people just look at it like magic. His methods are closer to “Jackass” than they are magic. Nevertheless, he puts Burt and Anton out of business, and they have to come up with something grand in order to revive peoples belief in magic and illusions, and what made magic magical in the first place.
What is so great about this film is that there is two antagonists, one obvious, and one subtle. The obvious antagonist is Steve Gray, making the movie a man vs. man story. The subtle antagonist is Burt. A man that is fighting himself, and learning what was so bad about himself. You can choose to even watch this film as a man vs. self film hidden within a man vs. man façade, while at the same time being a coming-of-age story. If that seems too serious or complicated, don’t worry…you can’t really tell, because the movie is hilarious.
This movie didn’t need Jim Carrey in order to get the point across or even to tell the story. The movie did; however, need Jim Carrey to get the level of humor out there. He was phenomenal in this, and without him, there would be nothing special about it. Please note that about 90% of the humor in the movie is physical, but it is over-the-top and hilarious humor. For some reason, even though it is over-the-top, it doesn’t seem unbelievable, like stupid humor often comes across as, so this film shouldn’t be regarded as a movie that involves stupid humor.
Steve Carell has had quite a few collaborations with Alan Arkin and quite a few with Jim Carrey as well. This would be the first time that he has worked with both on the same project, and rightfully so, if there was anyone that would be a perfect fit, chemistry-wise, for Steve Carell, it would be Arkin and Carrey. Everyone worked brilliantly with each other, it felt real, it didn’t feel awkward or out-of-place in any way.
Sure, some of the comedy didn’t feel like it was top-notch, especially near the beginning of the film, when most of the comedic elements were already shown in the trailers, if you are familiar with those. However, once you get past an half hour or so, the movie really does get quite hilarious. I would definitely recommend this to any Jim Carrey fan, as this is a classic addition to his series.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” came to theaters on Mar. 15! Check it out today!