Will Smith is a seasoned con man thief type bloke who takes Margot Robbie – a newcomer to the conning game, eager to learn – under his wing. After a few jobs together Smith realises that she has become too close to him and he is emotionally compromised, and so lets her go. Three years later they meet up again and start conning each other left right and centre.
What Focus is, is a movie trying to be lots of things at the same time. It tries its hand at heist, romance, comedy and thriller. It doesn’t really achieve any of these. But it’s quite entertaining watching them attempt this. The heists are all quite nice to look at, but if you for a second think about what has actually happened you will realise that it makes no sense whatsoever. And then you realise that the “heists” are just kind of petty thievery stunts. The Comedy element works at times, it’s not an especially funny film but there are some chuckles in there. Now the romance part, for this to work you have to believe that the two characters would actually like each other, but they don’t really have much chemistry. You believe the initial attraction, you believe the whole teacher trainee thing, but I didn’t really think they had that much chemistry together. Actually Adrian Martinez and Margot Robbie would appear to have more chemistry than the main two.
All that aside though, I did find myself quite enjoying it. It does look very nice, it takes place in an always sunny location (unless it’s at night) somewhere exotic. Whether it’s a club with nice lighting, or an F1 track, or some nice restaurant, or a lovely market it’s always nice to look at. I also really liked the soundtrack, I thought all of the songs were quite brilliantly chosen. I also really liked Margot Robbie, and she clearly really wants this film to work, it is then a shame that Will Smith clearly couldn’t give a flying one. He is essentially sleep walking through the whole film. Granted he is quite a charismatic sleeper. But it would have been nice if he had put in some effort. I thought Gerald McRaney was very good, despite his character making no sense at all, and he and Smith conjure up the sole proper laugh in the film.
Overall, I wasn’t expecting much, so I suppose the fact that it wasn’t total rubbish made me enjoy it a bit more than perhaps I would have with normal expectations. But enjoy it I did. And I think you will too, given you just let it happen and don’t try and think about the heists. Because if you pay them any actual attention to them you will just get cross.