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I saw a couple of movies on pay-per-view while at my sister’s recently and I reviewed “McFarland, USA” yesterday (June 22). Today the movie is “Focus” which was released in theaters in February.
“Focus” is the story of con man Nicky (Will Smith), who becomes a grifting mentor to Jess (Margot Robbie) and teaches her what he knows and they pull off a couple of cons.
There are moments in “Focus” that remind you of “The Sting” and the remake of “Ocean’s 11” with George Clooney and Brad Pitt. But that’s the problem with “Focus.” There aren’t enough of those moments.
In “The Sting” and “Ocean’s 11” you wanted the good guys to succeed the entire time. Smith and Robbie are supposed to be the good guys in “Focus”. During the a good chunk of the movie, however, I didn’t care if they succeed or not.
The movie does take you to New York, New Orleans and Buenos Aires, Argentina and I always like movies, such as the James Bond films, that take you to different places.
And although it’s a small role, B.D. Wong is terrific as big-time gambler Liyuan Tse. It’s definitely a change of course from his always-on-message Dr. George Huang on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
“Focus” isn’t a poor film, but it’s not a great one either. I’m glad I didn’t pay theater prices to see it. But I think it would be worth your while as a DVD rental, pay-per-view selection or watching it on your streaming service.

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

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