Magic gives us the opportunity to believe there is something else around us that may explain the unexplainable. For some our 1st encounter with magic occurred when we were babies. A face would appear from behind a covering of hands and say peek-a-boo. I remember my older brothers playfully grabbing my nose then showing it to me sticking out from their clenched fingers. It took me a while to figure out they were sticking the tip of their thumb up between those rounded fingers. Some type of magic can be found almost every day if you look hard enough. No matter how much you look though, you will find no movie magic in this dull comedy. Childhood friends Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton, played by Steve Carell (Hope Springs, Date Night) and Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Boardwalk Empire-TV), grew up to be famous magicians of a Las Vegas show. When street performer/magician Steve Gary, played by Jim Carrey (Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Truman Show), gained enough public interest to steal the two headliners’ thunder, a competition began to see who would become the top magician to lead a new show for hotelier Doug Munny, played by James Gandolfini (Welcome to the Rileys, Killing Them Softly) in his new hotel. From the entire movie I believe I chuckled four times. If you have never seen Jim Carrey you will enjoy his performance. For the rest of you who have seen him, it was the same old stuff from rubber faced Jim. Both Steves were lackluster, uttering infantile lines; it made the scenes drag. The only one who was good but did not have much screen time was Alan Arkin (Argo, Stand Up Guys) as Rance Holloway. Olivia Wilde (The Words, In Time) as Wonderstone’s assistant Jane was forgettable. However, part of the reason was the undeveloped role given to her. I am afraid this film created no magic for me. They say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” in the promotional ads for the city. No truer words have ever been spoken; this film should not have left the editing room. I had more fun making a pint of ice cream disappear over the weekend.
1 2/3 stars