With the quick success of Fifty Shades of Grey dying quickly, any movie with star power had the opportunity to overtake the romantic drama’s throne of dominance. It turns out a former box-office king was in the right place in the right time with his own romantic crime drama.
Focus is the story of Nicky (Will Smith), a veteran con artist in his latest scheme, who encounters a woman from his past, Jess (Margot Robbie) – now an experienced femme fatale – who throws his plans out of sync.
There is more to the story, of course. If you have watched the trailer, you hear Smith’s voiceover “There is no room for a heart in this game.” It’s obvious that Jess gets under his skin, a look of surprise crossing Nicky’s face when he sees her descent from the stairs in a stunning red dress. When it comes to a movie about con artists, you know it will be filled with twists and turns. Focus had a bit too many but the star power of Smith and Robbie’s chemistry and the glamorous setting is enough to help the film along and not lose the story along the way.
This movie is Smith’s first starring role since After Earth (Who wants to be reminded of that?). While it’s not his typical big-budget type of film, working with a smaller budget seemed to work better for Smith. His character was smooth and fully believable that someone like this could exist in the world. Robbie’s Jess was funny and adorable to watch but displayed that her character can handle her own against Nicky with some experience under her belt after leaving from under Nicky’s wing. I couldn’t think of a better female lead for Smith than Robbie’s Jess. Still coming off the success of The Wolf of Wall Street, teaming up with another A-lister will only help Robbie in the long run.
Honestly, I think this film benefits Will Smith than Robbie because he needed a good film. Even though the opening weekend did not produce that much financially, Smith needed a mid-level film to help show that he is still a box-office draw. He might have rested on his past experience and that hurt him but Smith displayed that he still has some magic left. With the announcement of joining 2016’s Suicide Squad, Will might be showing that former Fresh Prince can still ascend to the throne of the Box Office.