Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hocus Crapus

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone       Final Cut Score: 60%

If The Incredible Burt Wonderstone were a real Vegas show, its rightful home would be amongst the rubble of an imploded casino. Not that I wish that you stop reading at this point but the "comedy" is unspeakably awful.

A blonde mane-adorning Steve Carell is the titular Wonderstone, a Siegfried Fischbacher facsimile, sadly sans mauling tiger sidekick.

Performing to packed crowds over the past decade alongside his Roy, Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi in a thankless role), the twosome's act slowly grows more tired than the screenplay's stream of laughless sex jokes.

Burt and Anton's audience evaporates as casino owner Doug Munny (James Gandolfini playing James Gandolfini) kicks the duo to the curb with designs on an attention-seeking freak show specializing in self-mutilation, Criss Angel Steve Gray (Jim Carrey doing Jim Carrey with Gregg Allman's hair). Gray's cable sensation "Brain Rape" (oh the hilarity) kills it in the ratings.

Evidently the 25-54 demo loves watching a guy cut open his cheek and pull out a card. Or hold his pee for days on end. Or take a blast of pepper spray to the eyes while attempting to set the world record for not blinking. Or play the role of a human piñata.

The film amounts to a 100-minute stick beating.

Carell - makeup caked at his hairline - channels Ron Burgundy for his Wonderstone. Stuffed with self importance and a chauvinist mindset, all Carell needed was Burgundy's tagline: "You stay classy Las Vegas". Call it: Magicman: The Legend of Burt Burgundy.

Carrey doesn't fare any better than Carell, though his final stunt, a power drill to the temple, is a splendid summation to my tortuous experience.