They were best buds since childhood and loved magic tricks…
Today they’re aging illusionists in Las Vegas, barely hanging on with their outdated “Burton and Anton: A Magical Friendship” act at Bally’s main showroom and ticket sales have plummeted.
We’re talking THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE here.
A campy behind the tricks look at Vegas magic on the Strip. Shades of Lance Burton with touches of Siegfried and Roy and Chriss Angel.
There’s even a little bit of David Copperfield thrown in. Matter of fact Copperfield shows up briefly on screen and acted as a consultant on the movie.
Burton (Steve Carell) and Anton (Steve Buscemi) used to kill it on the Strip, but their act had gotten long in the tooth. And there’s a new sensation hitting Sin City. He’s rogue street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) who calls himself the “Brain Rapist.” His dangerous act seems patterned after that of Criss Angel’s and he’s the new sensation.
In short order, Burt and Anton split and Bally’s hotel owner (James Gandolfini) fires Burt Wonderstone. Now Burt’s down and out and relegated to playing supermarkets and nursing homes while Anton is doing good deeds in the Far East.
It’s at one of those nursing homes that Burt runs into his childhood (magician) hero Rance Holloway played to the hilt by Alan Arkin. They connect. And you guessed it, it’s Hollywood magic—make that Vegas magic—all over again.
Do Burt and Anton kiss and make up? What do you think?
All that plus luscious Olivia Wilde plays Burt’s former assistant Jane.
If you disliked ANCHORMAN, then you’ll probably hate this campy satire. I loved ANCHORMAN and thoroughly enjoyed this comedy. So did the rest of our screening crowd. They all left with smiles on their faces.
Think of it as ANCHORMAN meets BLADES OF GLORY with touches of ZOOLANDER thrown in for good measure.
THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF BURT WONDERSTONE raising 3 out of 5 magical fingers.
(Reviewed at Cinemark’s Tinseltown, Merriam, Ks.)
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES: Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on KMBZ Fm & Am / Also anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411 / And throughout Nebraska on NEBRASKA ON DEMAND.