The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Reviews

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August 20, 2017
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Greg, we just saw a zany comedy with several highly acclaimed actors: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, and Alan Arkin. What did you think of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone?

GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) It was a delightful surprise. Fashioned after Will Ferrel movies like Blades of Glory and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Carell and friends take on the wonderful world of magic!

SCOTT: The real magic trick was that a movie like this seemed destined to be a dud, yet somehow provided solid entertainment. Lets recap: Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) play two magicians whose long-running Las Vegas act slowly becomes stale and unpopular. A rival magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) has stolen their audience and their thunder by performing extreme tricks involving bodily mutilation. The two men are fired, have a falling out, and go their separate ways. Burt is unable to find work and has clearly lost his passion for magic.

GREG: This is such a fun, funny, and wonderful story of falling from grace and redemption. Burt Wonderstone had lost the wonder of magic until he meets his (now aged) childhood idol, Rance Halloway (Arkin). Rance chides Burt for having no joy for the art of magic and helps him to reclaim it. This is a classic heros redemption story.

SCOTT: Yes it is, Greg. As much as this movie is over-the-top goofy, and as much as Steve Carell plays farce to the hilt, we still are witness to a traditional heros journey. Burts fall into the unfamiliar world of failure leads him to a love interest, Jane (Olivia Wilde); a mentor character Rance which you mention; and an opportunity for transformation. Greg, what did you think of Antons role in this movie? Was this a buddy hero story or did Anton play more of a sidekick role?

GREG: Anton is Burts best friend from grade school. He was always the idea man and Burt was the front man. Anton was willing to take a back seat to Burt. While they were clearly buddies, I dont think this was a buddy film. It was all about Burts realization that he had gotten too big for his own britches and had to change his ways. So, Anton is clearly a sidekick in a movie about Burt Wonderstone. What did you think of Olivia Wildes role in this movie? Shes a long-time favorite of mine from the TV show House and her appearance in other movies including the underrated In Time.

SCOTT: Olivias character of Jane served a purpose that is common in both the movies and in real life. What is that purpose? Women make men better. There I said it. You see it in the movies all the time, from Groundhog Day to nearly every romantic comedy where the male hero is a dufus and the woman sets him straight.

GREG: Jim Carrey as Steve Gray looks a lot like David Blaine or Chris Angel (and the stunts they perform in such cable shows as Mind Freak). Carrey is a master of physical comedy and he uses all of his talent here. I was happy that he didnt go over the top. He seems to have tamed his mania and focused his gifts into a villain character that was a sharp contrast to Carells Wonderstone. Gray was sort of the grown-up bully that Wonderstone had to face as a child.

SCOTT: I was thinking the exact same thing about Carreys more subdued performance. Weve seen physical comedians on the big screen tone down their act with great commercial success before. Steve Martin comes to mind. I also appreciated how Antons hero story obeyed an important law of the hero journey: Heroes must use some aspect of their trials to redeem themselves. Anton travels overseas to a developing nation to perform magic to the starving masses -- a silly gag that falls flat. But while there, Anton discovers a plant that acts as a sedative. Burt and Anton later use that plant to help transform their magic act.

GREG: Thats a great plot device. The writers were pretty economical in their writing - they really didnt waste anything. I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected. And there was a lot more of the Heros Journey in it than I expected. I give The Incredible Burt Wonderstone 3 out of 5 Reels for an entertaining comedy experience and 3 out of 5 Heroes for a reasonably well-crafted hero. Movie: Hero:

SCOTT: Ditto, Greg. The movie was a fun romp, producing many chuckles and solid entertainment. Its no academy award-winner, but it did the job. I also give it 3 Reels out of 5. The Hero journey was certainly present from start to finish. It was a bit hard to root for an arrogant bastard like Burt, but Jane and Rance did eventually tame the beast. Like you, I give the hero Burt 3 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Hero:
½ June 13, 2017
It's inconsistent, and there are some parts that just don't really work. There are also things that REALLY work. And luckily, the latter outnumber the former.
½ June 8, 2017
what a waste of time
May 4, 2017
A fun movie, but with some unnecessarily crude humor. I was really grossed out by some of the things Jim Carrey's character, Steve Gray, did as tricks. (First and only viewing - 12/6/2014)
½ April 3, 2017
Sometimes, it's ok to like a dumb movie if you makes you laugh enough.
March 18, 2017
Don't put into movies like this than they were to be. Goofy comedies.
½ February 22, 2017
Compared to Birdman, & Wrestler, this movie tells the story of how an outdated performer would face their lives. By the way, everyone gets old, and am I got the ambitions to return to the "stage" of life?
The magic and the punch are funny enough, although it seems to be a stable and well calculated "encourage style" movie.
February 19, 2017
amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
August 28, 2016
Steve Carell, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, and Alan Arkin do a great job of acting in this movie. The movie started off a little douchey, with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell acting like total egomaniacal idiots, but had a hilarious ending.
August 21, 2016
I really enjoyed the style of humor. Lots to like about it. Gets a little formulaic in the middle, but still has plenty of surprising laughs.
August 21, 2016
Hilarious. Don't listen to critics review comedies. It's literally a different category.
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2016
I'm not a fan of Steve Carell and the only reason I wanted to watch this was for Jim Carrey who was as he always is really funny and as I thought before watching it he was the best thing in this movie, His stunts were hilarious but he was under used, Although the rest of the cast did a good job but they were pretty boring compared to Jim Carrey, The story was old and between Jim Carreys scenes it was bland, The ending was pretty good but couldn't make up for the rest of it, Watch it for Jim Carrey and you might enjoy it more.
July 28, 2016
The only incredible thing about this movie is how little I laughed throughout. Boring, dumb, and definitely not funny.
June 5, 2016
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, basically Ron Burgundy, only if he were a Magician instead of a anchorman. Overall, a decent film with below average jokes.
May 22, 2016
This movie was a mess. Had a unique concept for a comedy movie but it wasn't funny in the slightest bit. I watched for 45 mins and never laughed once. Which is unfortunate because it has a really great cast of actors. Very disappointed.
½ April 22, 2016
The introduction to magic's over-the-top duo Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi is deliciously cheesy. Buscemi is charming and I wish he had more screen time. The film went off the cliff mid-way.
April 10, 2016
This is a decent comedy. Carrell is great as the has been magician and Buscemi goes into Donnie mode. It is Jim Carrey and Brain Rape that steals every scene. Hillarious.
February 13, 2016
Es increible ver como aún con tantos actores excelentes; el director Don Scaldino no logró hacer nada interesante con ellos, es una película lenta, con 2 que 3 gags buenos en TODA la película, y en resumen bizarra. Es una mezcolanza de humor en extremo extraño y una monotonía constantemente presente. Que lastima, pudo haber sido una comedia muy bien hecha; pero eso pasa cuando el director es un completo pelele.
January 23, 2016
Didn't laugh once and made sadly unnecessary given the solid talent behind it.
½ January 18, 2016
While it doesn't feel like a movie we haven't seen a million times, it doesn't completely fail to entertain and it collects a few laughs. I couldn't stop thinking I was watching a remake of "Dodgeball" with magic instead of dodgeball though. Also, Steve Buscemi didn't look quite convinced.
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