First Hit: Despite the clichés, this film does have its surprises and overall was enjoyable.
I like con-films. One of my favorites, of course, is “The Sting”. This film does not have the acting that “The Sting” had, but it was very entertaining.
Will Smith as Nicky was raised by a con-man and has always lived the con-man life. He doesn’t allow anything to stick to him, personally, because that is the downside – stickiness leads to attachments and in his life attachments are not good. In walks Jess (Margot Robbie). She is also a con-artist but mostly focuses on picketing and tries to hustle Nicky.
He sees through the con, explains to her and her partner where they went wrong but see’s enough in her to have her audition to become part of a team that executes a set of cons and hustles in New Orleans during Super Bowl week. It was fun to watch the hustles and more fun to watch Smith intelligently swagger through this part. Although I suspected the ending, there was still enough of a twist that brought a level of humanity to it all.
Smith was perfect for this role, streetwise, smart, and having a level of humorous swagger to make it all work. This isn’t academy award type stuff, but it is enjoyable. Robbie is fun to watch and it appears that she probably had fun making this film – it showed. Adrian Martinez as Farhad, the computer nerd of the hustling group, was effective. Gerald McRaney was great as Owens. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wrote and directed with film with enough humor and seriousness to make it fun to watch.
Overall: I left the theater with a smile on my face, which is good enough.