The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Did I find a film that was worse than Movie 43? No, but damn if this film didn't try.

An interesting idea is undone by a our lead character, Burt, (Steve Carrell) being such an unlikable character that even if he was written well (he isn't) his personality turns you off to him and you really don't care about his failing career and whether or not he can return to glory (spoilers: he does).

After being inspired by renowned magician Rance Holloway, (Alan Arkin) a young Burt tries his hand at simplistic magic trick in elementary school. While perfecting his magic in school, Burt meets another school outcast, Anthony; the two becoming good friends and magic partners.

Flash-forward to the present: Burt and Anthony, now known as Anton Marvelton, (Steve Buscemi) are headlining Bally's Hotel with their large-scale magic tricks to dwindling audiences. Owner of Bally's, Doug Munny (James Gandolfini) begins looking at new avenues to boost sales while Burt and Anton grow apart. Just in time for them to separate, we get wacky and extreme magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) who continuously pops in and out of the film as a somewhat antagonistic and rival magician to Burt and Anton's act.

This film is an utter mess with no likable characters to side with, save for Anton. Of course, as Anton is the only sympathetic character in the film, the writer and director decide that Anton needs to disappear (see what I did there?) for most of the mid-portion of the film. What we are left with is unlikable Burt falling in love with a wanna-be magician Jane (Olivia Wide) while Steve Gray keeps showing up and really acting like he is in the wrong film.

As most people seem to think Jim Carrey may be the best thing in this film, he is more of an anomaly than something that actually elevates anything in this film to good. The character really doesn't come into direct contact with Burt and mainly is a side-story where Steve slightly intersects into Burt's life and then leaves it.

There really isn't much to say about the film. This really is a misfire from all angles: filled with awful performances, terrible writing and some of the most obvious "gags" of the year. Thankfully, Steve Carrell has the Despicable Me franchise, so he can shake this film off like a case of fleas.

Hopefully Jim Carrey, on the other hand, will have more luck with Kick-Ass 2.


Honestly, this review has been mostly written for the past month or so, but it's taken me this long to finish it. It just makes me sleepy. Where's Mark Buffalo when you need him?


  1. Such a shame this came out so badly. I wanted to see it originally but all the bad reviews like your have kept me away for good.

  2. I'd like to see a review of yours on this film, but also, every review is the same. Not sure if you want to travel that road.