‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ Review

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t such a magical act, says a recent review.

Steve Carell plays Burt Wonderstone, a kid who gets picked on all the time until he discovers his talent with magic. Decades later, he has become a professional magician in Las Vegas, working alongside his old friend Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi). The two are hugely successful, with a regular rotation of assistants.

Along comes rival magician Steve Grey (Jim Carrey), who shows that magic has to change as time goes by. Steve Grey is basically a Criss Angel/David Blaine clone, pulling off endurance tricks instead of the classic style. Burt Wonderstone refuses to change his act and has a run-in with Grey, ending in a near-death experience. The casino’s owner, played by James Gandolfini, sets the whole thing up to end the contract with Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton. Burt Wonderstone experiences a fall from grace which ends in a gig at a retirement home for aged entertainers.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone starts out much like most Adam Sandler films, with a flashback to his childhood. His absent mother gives him a magic kit, and after seeing an act by Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), Burt Wonderstone is blown away by and 30 years later, he and fellow abuse-magnet Anton are performing in Las Vegas, doing what Holloway inspired them to do.

This film sounds a bit like what The Prestige might have been if Christopher Nolan had decided to make it a comedy and handed it to Adam Sandler and Will Farrell to handle. And with Steve Buscemi starring, Adam Sandler would have felt right at home.

Steve Carell has two basic types of roles in his movies. He’s either the normal guy who gets into trouble, or the guy who yells all the time. This film is one of his yelling roles, and that’s not a good thing.

The premise of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone involves over-the-top performances in the “city of sin”, which could have been funnier considering the ridiculous acts Vegas magicians are known for. However, like most mediocre comedies, ComingSoon.net‘s Edward Douglas says, this film’s premise is funnier than the actual film.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone seems to be the typical Will Farrell Anchorman schlock, and apparently proves that it should have been left to Will Farrell.

What do you think of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone?