Will Smith makes epic return in action thriller “Focus”

Haley Beyma

f you took an action movie and removed the guns and explosions and combined it with a rom-com, the product would be “Focus.” 

Will Smith stars as a dorky, loveable con man in one of his best roles since “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a welcome change after 2013’s “After Earth” fiasco.  

Costar Margot Robbie of “Wolf of Wall Street” fame holds her own. She brings charm and wit to her role and her chemistry with Smith pans out on screen.

Smith stars as Nicky, a third generation con man who identified as a thief since childhood. He meets Jess (Robbie) when she attempts to rob him of his wallet at a swanky hotel after inviting him to her room.

And so begins the cat-and-mouse affair that lasts throughout the entire movie. Both characters are addicted to the art of connning, but there is undeniablely  a deeper connection between them. 

After Nicky recruits Margot to be a part of his team, he cannot deny that she has talent and is a valuable part of his crew, as shown by her success in pick pocketing Super Bowl attendees. 

Their tactics are complicated and fun to watch, but what keeps the audience interested is whether or not Jess and Nicky’s connection is real or just another con in itself.

“Focus” has a light plot but two major stings, the Super Bowl and a high stakes race in Buenos Aires, anchor the film and provide direction.  

As the plot thickens, things get messy and complicated. The pace of the movie slows toward the end, but it’s still a slick and entertaining escapist flick. The plot twists dispersed throughout the movie provide a few surprises and keep the audience interested. 

Still, “Focus” is Smith’s best performance in years, Robbie nails the part of a smart femme fatale and the supporting actors all exceed expectations in their respective roles. 

BD Wong’s performance as an eccentric Chinese gambler is his best role yet, and character actor Adrian Martinez, portraying the team’s resident computer genius provides just enough weird factor to be funny. 

Those seeking a heavy action film should look elsewhere. This film is light, sleek and sophisticated but also fun and entertaining. 

Smith’s charming demeanor and Robbie’s charismatic portrayal of Jess create likeable and interesting characters that streamline the film’s complicated plot points. 

“Focus” is a quick, breezy film from start to finish. Similar in style to “Hitch,” “Focus” is a simple, yet entertaining movie with a few twists and turns to keep the viewer interested; if you liked “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, you will like “Focus.” 

Smith presents a familiar face, reliable humor and allows Robbie to shine in a comedic role.