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You know, I still remember the days that big and expensive assemble comedies were actually still funny to watch. Those days have gone it seems.

It's not a terrible or offensively bad movie but it's humor certainly falls incredibly flat. It's so disappointing, especially considering its concept and seeing what actors all starred in it. Surely this movie showed plenty of potential but the movie shows that you could cast as many great comedy actors as you could possibly get but that still doesn't make your movie a good or funny one to watch, as long as the material they have to work with isn't up to par.

You would think that a movie involving magic and magicians provides plenty of creative and fun material to work around with but the things this movie comes up with do rarely work out. Hard to say what's the real cause of all of this. Perhaps it's not fair to blame everything entirely on the movie its writing. Something about the execution of it all also feels terribly lacking. It's as if the timing is just a tad bit off and the movie is lacking the right required type of absurd comedy atmosphere, to make things work out effectively.

Having some absurd comedy moments and characters in it doesn't necessarily make your comedy a good absurd one as well, as this movie demonstrates. I still can't really put my finger on to it as to why it doesn't really work out but I think it actually might be due to its casting and characters. Nothing against Steve Carell but he didn't seem like the right type of comedy actor for this movie and his role. This is the sort of movie that in fact needed to have Will Ferrell- or a Will Ferrell type of comedy actor in it. Besides, problem with the Steve Carell character in this movie also is that he just isn't a very good or likable enough main protagonist. He does some real despicable things to people, even to his closest friends. It's hard to really care for- or ever root for a character like that.

It's made all the more hard to really get into this movie by the fact that isn't really following an engaging or solid enough main plot line. I mean, what's the big conflict in this? Burt Wonderstone lost his job, so now he's trying to make it to the top again? OK, that's fine but please focus some more on its actual main plot line next time. It now never really feels like a movie with a solid and clear beginning, middle and end in it. The story progresses in a far too random fashion and has a few too many needless distractions in it. This probably also is due to the fact that the movie has a few too many characters in it. Really, I love Alan Arkin but did this movie truly needed him? And what was the point of the Olivia Wilde character, other than being a bland and generic love interest for the movie its main character. Most of the time their romance isn't really going anywhere, until the movie its final 20 minutes or so, when we are suddenly supposed to believe that these persons are drawn to each other and right for each other as well.

I still got about 2 or 3 good laughs out of this movie, which means though that 95% of the other comedy fell incredibly flat to me. Like I said, it never gets terrible or cringely bad in any way but it still is a movie that just isn't worth any of your time.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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