Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Written by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie
Suited and booted conman Nicky (Smith) briefly takes on an ambitious and attractive upstart (Robbie) as his protégé. Three years later they meet in a world of even higher stakes. Will the student school her teacher?
Focus is a film of clearly demarcated halves; a time jump refreshes the narrative just as you start to wonder if the conventional premise is going anywhere. The final twist is predictable, but overall Ficarra and Requa lead an elaborate dance, creating pacy set pieces where the perceived upper hand is in constant flux.
The script, however, isn’t as smart as it thinks it is, and longwinded exposition mars the climactic scenes.
BAFTA Rising Star nominee Robbie shines in a role with just enough to it to suggest more interesting parts will surely be hers in the near future.
Very occasionally Focus’ Hollywood glamour is offset by allusion to the anti-capitalist idea that money can’t buy happiness, but essentially this is a fun hustler romp which embeds a surprisingly romantic tale at its heart.