The most incredible thing about Burt Wonderstone is how few people went to see it
Steve! What are you doing to me Steve? I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I am a pretty solid fan of Steve Carell. I loved him in The Office, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Get Smart, and pretty much anything else he has put his name on. His most recognizable role as Andy in The 40 Year Old Virgin seems like a thing of the past these days. I seem to remember him more for movies like Dan in Real Life, Evan Almighty, and Dinner with Schmucks than anything else lately. While this movie isn’t as bad as some of those mentioned above, it’s not much better either.
Storyline: Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) have been best friends since they were young . They grew up to be famous magicians that headlined their own Vegas show for years. But with new acts like Steven Gray (Carey) taking their audience, Burt becomes hard to work with and drives Anton away…which leads to the cancelation of their show. Burt now finds himself with no friends, no money, and no career. If he is to ever become the great magician that he once was he must find a way to fall in love with magic again before his last chance passes him by.
I feel that it would be dishonest to say that I didn’t laugh at some of this movie. It was ok at times. Funny even. But the overall product was somewhat of a letdown. There were times that I thought that the story was going to go to a really funny place, especially after Wonderstone hit “rock bottom”, but it turns into this gooey montage of ways that Burt is trying to improve himself. Sure, it was needed, but it takes up too much of the movie. And even with it taking up a lot of screen time it still somehow feels like a rushed turnaround when it finally happens.
Worth the admission? It pains me to say it, but no. It falls short on a bunch of levels. While it had the potential to be a huge hit for Carell it ultimately turns out to be a humdrum comedy that lays on a thick layer of a self improvement message. Was it terrible? No. Will I watch it again? No.
If you are looking for a few good Steven Carell movies, rent Crazy, Stupid, Love, (2011) or, and many will disagree with me, Seeking a Friend for the End of the Wold (2012). I enjoyed both of them much more than The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and I bet you will too.
PS. Who in the world thought Steve Buscemi was a good casting choice. He looks like an Albino Bush Baby (look it up) and added very little to the movie.