I don’t know what to tell you. This movie stars some of the greatest comic actors working today. It has a clever, timely premise and some very funny dialogue. Yet, all I can do is picture a half-dozen studio executives and screenwriters sitting in some dive bar in West Hollywood saying to themselves, How did it all go so terribly wrong?
Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are the kings of magic. With their sequined velvet jumpsuits and jaw-dropping illusions, they fill their audience with shock and awe. I would say imagine Siegfried and Roy, but I’m sure you’re already there. That is, until their audience starts to dwindle—drawn instead to a new breed of magician. The crowds are now drawn to the edgy, sexy magic of Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), a rogue street magician with a dangerous repertoire. I would say picture Chriss Angel, but I’m sure you’re already there. Can the old-school magicians update their style? Is this new breed of performer the future of magic? Can Burt and Anton save their career, as well as their friendship? Does anybody really care? Judging from the box office reports, the answer is no.
It’s a pretty funny movie. Correction: It’s a pretty funny movie that I couldn’t care less about. It’s striving to be a theme cult classic like Anchorman or Talladega Nights, and falls miserably short. It’s a 5.