Posted on 5/14/10 09:34 PM
2007, 95mins, 15
Director: Andrew O'Conner
Cast includes: Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Tim Plester, Jessica Stevenson, Robert Smith
Anyone living in the British Islands must now be familair with the frequently hysterical double act of David Mitchell and Robert Webb a duo who have made a mark on radio, in literature and of course on TV with their fantastic sitcom Peep Show. Last May when Magicians was announced for release in the UK and marked the big screen debut of the pair I was fairly psyched, when also considering that they would be taking alot of their creative team with them to. Sadly when release happened the film was rightly overlooked and flopped quite hard, but when a comedy picture is made this lazily and in such a pedestrian sense, what do you expect?
Lifelong friends Harry and Karl (David Mitchell and Robert Webb) are the greatest magic double act in the country. But after a guillotine illusion goes horribly and spectacularly wrong, in the aftermath of an adultry accusation their friendship and their careers are finished.
Now, down on his luck and out of cash, Harry sets his sights on the prize money of the prestigious 'International Magic Shield' tournament. But to win he will have to compete against the world's oddest magicians - including his deadly rival Karl, performing under the guise of ridiculous psychic 'The Mindmonger'.
Can new tricks and a new assistant (Jessica Stevensen) help Harry to triumph over his underhanded opponents and his disastrous past?
Mitchell and Webb are sadly pretty poor in Magicians , niether looks particularly bothered about being funny and their is an inexcusable laziness about the whole thing. Support is made up of British comedy stalwarts some carried over from Peep Show, others like Stevenson just doing a job and getting in and out. The pedigree in this department is definitly better than whats delivered, but that little piece of annoyance is overshadowed by how lame the lead duo are. Really the pair have proven themselves top comic minds on several other occasions, but hear they just sort of stink.
The script and direction are dull, with the former of that pair coming good occasionally but the latter remaing as uinventive and banal from start to finish. Magicians manages one or two okay gags, the problem is there are so many stale and rubbish ones thrown in aswell. Exactly who the picture was trying to appeal to is beyond me, the jokes are to broad and formuliac for more general or family audience to apprciate it. That probably goes a long fans of the TV work, but there are still to many crude and dark patches for a way to explaing why the movie performed so unexceptionally at the British Box-Office, a loaction where the pair have quite a great following.
Everything about the film just doesn't entertain and when so many ingrediants dissapoint and distract you know the finished product is going to be one to skip. The screenplay is basic and largely fails on all fronts and the work of the usually more than reliable leads is astoundingly inept. All in all there was absolutly no chemistry apparent on thsi picture, let alone magic.