Now Playing: The Incredulously Unfunny ‘Burt Wonderstone’

As the lead in the new magic-based comedy ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ Steve Carell is becoming the new Will Ferrell – and that’s not a compliment. As Ferrell’s box office appeal continues to tank, his typical and worn-out roles are now being handed off to other actors who might still have a draw. Sadly, Steve Carell is that new guy and, no, the movies aren’t any better.

Of course, Carell plays the title character, a magician who rose to fame on the Las Vegas strip in the ’80s. At his side was his best friend played by Steve Buscemi. But now, with a Cris Angel-like mind freak (played by Jim Carrey) taking over the Vegas magic scene, a rift forms in their partnership and friendship. After being fired, Burt must seek help from his only current friend (Olivia Wilde) to reinvent himself and his act.

‘Burt Wonderstone’ feels stretched thin. It has occasional jokes or gags that earn genuine laughs, but definitely not enough to make this 100-minute movie worthwhile. Most jokes fall flat, and a swarm of absurd characters really bogs the movie down. Every character is unbelievably zany to the point where it’s not fun to watch. Will Ferrell wore out that schtick years ago, and it’s especially disappointing to watch someone else mimic him.

I enjoy a good comedy, but ‘Burt Wonderstone’ just isn’t one. I can’t recommend it.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


  1. Then again, Steve Carell impressed just last year with ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’. So his career isn’t in dire straits just yet.

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