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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Burt Wonderstone combines confusion, filler to ruin a great lineup by misuse of characters

Burt+Wonderstone+proves+good+actors+like+Jim+Carrey+with+bad+roles+is+the+easiest+way+to+waste+two+hours+of+anyone%E2%80%99s+time.+Photo+courtesy+New+Line+Cinema
Burt Wonderstone proves good actors like Jim Carrey with bad roles is the easiest way to waste two hours of anyone’s time. Photo courtesy New Line Cinema
Burt Wonderstone proves good actors like Jim Carrey with bad roles is the easiest way to waste two hours of anyone’s time. Photo courtesy New Line Cinema
Burt Wonderstone proves good actors like Jim Carrey with bad roles is the easiest way to waste two hours of anyone’s time. Photo courtesy New Line Cinema

By Cody Daniels/reporter

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone invaded the big screen leaving behind mostly disappointment for its viewers.

Don Scardino, most recently known for directing the critically acclaimed NBC series 30 Rock, directed the film starring Steve Carell as well as A-list comedian/actors like Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Olivia Wilde and upcoming talent Luke Vanek.

Much anticipation preceded the film, which was thought to start a new wave of quality comedies with more girth than just a transparent shell of raunchiness that couldn’t hold an intelligible crowd for a minute-long YouTube episode.

The prerelease yearning to see the film, however, was primarily generated by Carrey’s return after what felt like a long absence from mainstream comedy.

To claim the film fell short would be an understatement. It was simply disappointing, even more for true fans of all works previously done by Carell, Carrey or Buscemi.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone consisted of a far too typical plot the filmmakers used to drag on way too long of a story. It’s about a young boy who sees a famous magician on TV and is awed into carrying a passion for simple magic tricks into adulthood stemming into a barely famous Vegas act type for our protagonist Burt (Carell).

Wonderstone’s ticket sales and career are ruined when Steve Grey (Carrey) comes to town and begins appealing to the town’s youth with a popular TV show and David Blaine-like tricks that seem too real to be just that. 

The only true laughs seemed to come from this portion of the story when Carrey is shown for a couple of segments pulling off stunts, sporting a hilariously long and dirty half-dreadlocked hairstyle. Carrey keeps his old-school style comedy with extreme body movements, naturally funny grins and odd noises. He definitely seemed to pull his weight in the film as the antagonist and generally as a comedian.

Wonderstone later seeks the advice of his original career inspiration magician Holloway (Arkin) after some unnecessary scenes and bad attempts at cheap laughs and his parting with performance partner Anton Marvelton (Buscemi).

Wilde seems to play a filler character. Her acting is fine, but her lines seemed carelessly thrown together. Even though her character temporarily becomes Burt’s business partner in his downfall, she merely provides a romance element to the story and pep talk that seems too easily needed to resolve the story’s primary conflict.

Buscemi performs quite well also but doesn’t appear enough. To add further disappointment, his character is the most serious of parts, which can be seen as a downside to viewers looking forward to Buscemi’s rare and witty breed of comedy.

The film’s concept seemed way too uninteresting to be a high- profiting comedy considering the amount that must have been spent on the film’s wasted cinematic and visual quality as well as four all-star names.

Ultimately, the acting was convincing, but it’s easy to wonder the purpose of these poorly birthed characters. The ending and many other cinematic elements seemed all too familiar.

This film is not worth spending money on. If it were starring Will Ferrell instead of Carell and had the plot elements been developed more carefully or script written less sloppily, it might have been.

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