THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
MARCH 17, 2013
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” nails the “Will-Ferrell-movie-not-starring-Will-Ferrell” vibe, which is unfortunate. It provides mixed feelings in most regards. Had Will Ferrell taken the leading role instead of Steve Carell (whom I do not care for), this would have been a much more tolerable film. Ferrell’s deadpan delivery and on-the-mark expressions make these ridiculous comedies the bread and butter they are. However, Carell’s performance comes off as mere imitation rather than genuine and controlled.
For most of the film, you dislike Mr. Wonderstone, and even in the film’s final acts, you still hold a bit of resentment. Jim Carey steals the show in this one, as does his character. His return to physical comedy roots makes the film the gem that it is, and though this will never reach classic comedy levels, it will remain one of Carey’s best performances to come out of the last decade or so. Never overly funny, never completely lacking, this film falls smack in the middle of mediocrity, having had tremendous potential, and instead decided to cast Steve Carell in a Will Farrell film.
March 15, 2013
John Francis Daley
Warner Bros. Pictures
New Line Cinema
(for sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and language)