Directed By: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Adrian Martinez, and Gerald McRaney

Will Smith used to be the king of the box office.  Between his 1996 breakout blockbuster Independence Day and his 2008 hit Hancock, Smith reigned supreme with 12 out of 14 of his films crossing the $100 million mark domestically.  So what the hell happened in the last seven years to change this?  Smith took a four-year hiatus from the box office and came back to a built-in audience in MIB 3 in 2012.  Things soured the following year when he teamed up with his son to release the abhorred After Earth.  With two years having now passed since this box office disaster, the Fresh Prince is back at it with heist comedy Focus.

An experienced con man, Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) has the distinct pleasure of introducing his world of tricks and trades to the lovely Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie) when she tries unsuccessfully to pull a con on him.  With an upcoming college football game in New Orleans, he teaches her how to draw an individual's focus so that he or she fails to notice all else in their vicinity, especially what's being stolen.  Along the way, Nicky and Jess become romantically involved.  Leading up to the ball game, things go extraordinarily well, and Nicky's team rakes in more than $1.2 million.  Nicky then proceeds to leverage Jess to pull off a con known as "the Little Blind Mouse" and then cuts her off completely.  Several years later, they reunite while Nicky is pulling a con in Buenos Aires on Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro) and his advisor Owens (Gerald McRaney).

It's not time to write off Will Smith just yet.  He may not be the box office juggernaut he once was, but he can still put on a good show.  Focus is at its core two things, a comedy and a heist movie.  As a comedy, it delivers the goods with loads of laughs that sweep moviegoers into this sleek, glossy world of tricks and treachery.  As a heist movie, this movie lays everything out and then nearly fools moviegoers with some pretty clever twists.  As far as I'm concerned, these two facts are the marks of one highly entertaining crime comedy.  With plenty of tension and suspense as well, this soulful crime comedy doesn't miss a beat.

The cast delivers the goods, especially our two leads.  For his part as Nicky Spurgeon, Will Smith rises to the occasion.  He's a slick, smooth talker who knows just the right angle to pull off the con at hand.  The strength of Smith's performance is in the fact that he calmly finds his funny bone as this slippery thief.  He also shares some solid romantic and comedic chemistry with his co-star Margot Robbie.  For her part as Jess Barrett, The Wolf of Wall Street actress rises to the occasion.  Though expectedly playing on her sex appeal, Robbie delivers a surprisingly fun performance in which she grows into this young woman with thick skin and sticky fingers.  Though I doubt Smith and Robbie will share this same chemistry in Suicide Squad down the road, they certainly make for one entertaining crime couple.

The supporting cast members are on point as well.  There are two standouts I'd like to call out.  For his part as Farhad, Adrian Martinez delivers plenty of charming yet irreverent humor.  What's really great about his delivery is that he comes out of nowhere at the most unexpected times.  He's the film’s secret weapon in delivering big laughs.  Then, we have Gerald McRaney as Owens.  This tough older gent brings some old school ruggedness to the film and plenty of caustic wit.  He's also the only person on screen who can really trade barbs with Smith in hilarious fashion.

I don't really care what anyone else is saying about Focus.  I just know that it's a solidly entertaining film that exceeded my expectations.  Smith may not deliver the box office gold he once could, but he's still delivering the quality.  The only complaint I have about the film is that it's predictable in that viewers can always expect that there's some ace up Smith's sleeve.  Like any heist film, however, that's just a game of expectations that plays out as the film progresses.  All that being said, Focus gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.