March 20, 2013
Movie Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Another delightful night at the movie theaters with my special lady, and again I had absolutely no plan on how the night was to unfold. With respect, Mary isn’t by any means a difficult woman to please. Her desires for cinematic fidelity often surprise me so much that I wonder to myself how I got so lucky. In fact, we often get along quite nicely when the subject of movies is presented at the round table.
Okay, maybe the table is more square than round, but there you have it.
We ultimately decided on watching The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, a hilarious magician-dark comedy about the declining industry of street, television and theatrical magicians. The movie stars everyone’s favorite white guy, Steve Carrel, with side performances from Jim Carrey and Steve Bushcemi. The all-star cast of veteran actors encourages us to spend ten bucks of our money, but the hilarity is what kept us glued (and rolling around frantically) in our seat.
The movie begins with a young Burt (Carrell) and Antone (Buschemi) discovering their love, and, hence, friendship for magic and entertainment. Although both youngsters possess little to no hope for a reasonably normal life in their later years, both Burt and Antone forge a friendship that endures for over twenty years.
We fast forward to both men now in their thirties in the beginning stages of their big break when they are presented a ten-year contract to perform their act in Las Vegas. Although Doug Munny insists that Burt ditch Anton for a more favorable audience, in front of Anton no less, Burt insists that the duo is in fact a team. Much like brothers, they stick together and are both offered a contract.
We fast-forward ten more years and the duo are still doing the same boring act with ten plus years of arrogance, money, sex, and excessive amounts of drug use. While their act is still flawless in performance, the material has gotten quite dry as they haven’t done anything new so far. Their friendship is put to the test when they meet former street magician Steve Gray (Carrey), and realize that they are old.
Gray is a political allegory for the new era of magician, a dirtier, darker, and raunchier performance artist that does almost anything to get a shock factor out of his audience. It was here that my appreciation for the film’s humor began. Rather than push nothing but slapstick humor in our faces, the movie actually makes an attempt to provide us with some emotional and theoretical depth. The relationship between Gray and Wonderstone highlights the culture and demographics difference between age groups of individuals who enjoy the same respective category of entertainment.
In short, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a fantastic dark comedy that makes great work of cinematic and comedic styles to provide the audience with a product that still feels fresh. Although there’s hardly much sex or adult themes, the political humor is sure to be appreciated by individuals over the age of 25. With respect, I’m only 20 and my girlfriend is 18.
If you’re confused about whether or not to drop a little pocket money to see this movie, don’t be. The experience will undoubtedly be as good in the movie theater as it is on the DVD release.
Image Credit: New Line Cinema