The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Audiences looking for something more comedic might find amusement in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The film stars Steve Carell as Burt Wonderstone, a Las Vegas magician whose career and personality have grown stagnant as his fame grows. Burt’s career finally falls apart when a rival magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), begins to dominate the cultural magic scene, and Burt’s partner, Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), leaves to pursue a new career path. With the help of former assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde) and Burt’s childhood inspiration, Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), Burt begins to straighten out his life with the goal of headlining a new show in Vegas.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is by no means a great film. The story itself is somewhat predictable, but the route it takes to its conclusion is bumpy thanks to shifting comedic tones. What ends up holding the film up—just barely—is a largely well-cast ensemble, headed by Carell. While none of the actors are really stretching themselves in this film (with the possible exception of James Gandolfini as a noxious casino owner), they’re all extremely talented, and they’re able to elevate the film with excellent comic timing and delivery. It’s just enough to make Wonderstone watchable, which is not worth nothing during this time of the year.

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