.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Steve Carell, Jim Carrey

Directed by Don Scardino
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 1.5
Community: star rating
5 1.5 0
March 14, 2013

It sounds like fun. Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as cheese-whizzy Vegas magicians trying to fight off Jim Carrey and his new kind of wizard act, a Jackass-like exercise in self-abuse that’s an online sensation. Cool, right? Not right. Magicians have been pulling rabbits out of hats for ages. And yet, with all this talent, no one can make a decent script materialize. What screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Horrible Bosses) have foisted on the cast, including the great Alan Arkin as a retired magician, shouldn’t happen to anyone, especially an audience.

Carell’s Burt Wonderstone is an epic ass-wipe who mistreats his partner, Anton Marvelton (Buscemi). They were friends as kids; magic was their escape from being bullied. But success – casino mogul Doug Munny (a slumming James Gandolfini) pays them millions – has tainted the wonder. When hubris breaks up the act, Burt must rediscover his inner child. Corny? Much worse.

Enter Steve Gray (Carrey), a street performer who revels in the gross-out – driving a drill into his own skull, letting a crowd beat him with sticks like a human piñata. Are you laughing yet? Carrey seems to be in an entirely different movie. And his is no better.

Director Don Scardino (30 Rock) has no idea how to blend the sweet and the sleazy. So he keeps trotting out more tricks. You can smell the desperation. Near the end, Burt and Anton attempt to make an audience disappear. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone should have no trouble with that one.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com