There has been A LOT of marketing activity for Focus (in London at least), with Will Smith and Margot Robbie appearing on seemingly every chat show, posters are up all over the place and I’ve seen TV trailers for it on nearly every advert break.

I must admit all of the marketing, while making the film look cool, didn’t really make me want to run out straight away and see the film. However, I was offered a free ticket to see a preview of it so of course I took it and I was pleasantly surprised.

The film starts with Will Smith in a very swish hotel room, looking very well dressed, which made me think this film was going to suit him. I wasn’t wrong, Will Smith does what he does best, very cool, very suave and a little bit cocky.

The opening scenes between him and Margot Robbie’s character were a little pretentious and left me thinking this was going to be slightly cheesy. However, this soon stops and I’d even say the pretentiousness of their initial encounters is on purpose and helps the plot.

Smith’s character, a world renowned con­man, agrees to train Robbie’s character, a fledgling con­woman trying to get into the big time. While doing so, he teaches her the art of misdirection and how to grab someone’s ‘Focus’ to ensure they’re seeing what you want them to see. By the end of the film, you realise this scene is integral to the storyline because there is an abundance of twists, which for the most part, I didn’t see coming or I didn’t guess until the very last second. Robbie’s character is used cleverly to show us where to look in each scene, which means we don’t see what is really going on until it is revealed.

The twists are by no means huge or mind blowing, but what Focus does well is you never (in the beginning at least) second guess that what is going on could be misdirection so when it is revealed as so it’s actually quite a shock. You could say it is a film about con-­artists learning mis­direction while showing you how easy it is to mis­direct within film making.

To sum up, Will Smith is excellent (even if he is just playing his typecast role), Margot Robbie is also very good in what is a very enjoyable rather ‘cool’ (in the Ocean’s Eleven sense) film. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I was going to.

itsFilmtastic Rating


Michael Wilson

Michael is a film lover and a UX designer.