Focus - Movie Review


Con artists. Slick skills. Risky ventures. Romance. Focus has them all.

Will Smith plays the role of Nicky Spurgeon aka "Mallow", a con man so professional in his art that he could divert your attention and sublimely influence your subconsciousness you wouldn't even know you've played right into his hands. 

Naturally, he has trust issues, but Jess Barret, a rookie con artist, (played by Margot Robbie) enters the scene and the two soon develops a relationship (while never completely trusting one another.) 

The movie starts off promisingly, with witty banter, flirtations and a beautifully smooth sequence where Nicky and his group snatches valuables from unwitting revellers who’ve gathered for a Major Professional Football Championship. After Nicky teaches Jess a few of his tricks, he realised that she's a natural and allowed her into his underground team.

At the Superdome, Nicky's hardcore gambling addiction will definitely leave the audience cursing at his stubbornness. I was literally at the edge of my seat with tension and anxiety as he went for bet after bet with high roller, Tse Liyuan. However, we're rewarded with a twist when it turns out that Nicky's simply a master at psychological manipulation. We're never going to listen to "Sympathy for the Devil" the same way again!

Focus didn't just end there. It went on to 3 years later, when Nicky headed to Buenos Aires to work for wealthy race-team owner Garriga, to cheat his competitors with a counterfeit advanced engineering formula that makes race cars go faster. Yet, when he reunites with Jess, complications arise and he ends up double-crossing Garriga. The many twists in the plot closer to the end of the film might be slightly overwhelming for audiences and I felt that there wasn't a real climax in the entire movie. 

The characters (with the exception of Nicky) didn't have much depth and I don't think audiences will be emotionally invested in their stories. The romance between Jess and Nicky also seems high implausible for the relationship development was too abrupt. 

Focus is too much artifice, too little depth, all glossy on the surface, and not exactly very audience-engaging. Guess it's just a flick for entertainment. 

Thank goodness for Cathay's student discount of $7 per ticket or I'll feel that the movie wasn't worth watching. Focus sure left me checking my pockets again after the film. 

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