December 03, 2016

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is an inexplicable missed opportunity

Among its many other faults, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone makes a solid case for the old ‘television is better than the movies’ argument.

The film is written by four different screenwriters all swimming in television writing experience and directed by a man who has directed almost nothing but television since 1990 and all of their various television projects are likely, by default, better than this film.

It features two actresses (Olivia Wilde and Gillian Jacobs) who did shine or are currently shining in well-developed three-dimensional roles on episodic television and uses them here merely as props for the boys to screw or ogle. It contains a script seemingly written by committee that features less wit and smarts than any one of the 38 episodes of 30 Rock by director Don Scardino. But putting aside the film vs.

TV debate, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is an inexplicable missed opportunity, showcasing subject matter that isn’t the least bit timely and highlighting the unmerited ‘redemption’ of a pointlessly horrible human being whose downfall is completely his own fault. More importantly, save for Jim Carrey’s supporting turn and a few grace notes along the way, it isn’t very funny.

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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