3 out of 5 Stars
If not a brilliant comedic movie, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” will at least earn a few laughs from fans of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey.
The movie centers on two friends, Burt (Carell) and Anton (Steve Buscemi), who go from being bullied as children to headliners in Las Vegas. After performing for a number of years in Vegas, the duo starts to drift apart. When a new street performer, Steve Gray (Carrey), enters the scene, their popularity (and revenue) plummets. The strain threatens to end Burt and Anton’s friendship for good. It is up to Burt, with the help of his assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde), to save their act and prove that the future of magic is much more than edgy street performers.
The plot of the movie is formulaic and predictable, but still enjoyable to watch. Steve Carell’s imitation of performers like Siegfried and Roy is quite entertaining. His garish clothing, permanent tan, and way out of style hairdo all lend to his vain and headstrong persona. Steve Buscemi plays a great opposite to Carell. Straight and honest as a person, he adds some much-appreciated heart to the film. Olivia Wilde is magnificent as an actress, but her character’s relationship with Burt seems clumsy and heavy-handed.
Jim Carrey’s gross-out David Blaine-inspired street magician character is quite entertaining when juxtaposed with the other characters. His antics, which include holding his urine in for days and sleeping on a bed of hot coals, are sure to earn some guffaws as well as moans of disgust.
Overall, this film delivers laughs from the beginning as we see young Burt take up magic, to the perversely funny pre-credits scene. While funny, this movie is destined to make its own “disappearing act” for most viewers, as there are few parts that are truly original and funny.