The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (15/PG-13, 100 mins)
Director: Don Scardino
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The Burt Wonderstone of the title, played by Steve Carell, and his partner Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have been friends since childhood and are now hugely successful magicians in Las Vegas. They’ve been doing the same show for years, but the arrival of a daring new street magician (Jim Carrey) along with dwindling crowds threatens to make them a thing of the past. Even if it does sometimes lapse into silliness, this rather flat comedy isn’t really the out and out spoof that you might expect. At least that means it doesn’t have to mug for laughs, which is a mercy, but the problem is the scarcity of decent chuckles, and it’s about a decade too late to bemoan the rise of the street illusionist when it seeks to lampoon their pomposity and ridiculous stunts. The rest is predictable as Burt has to learn to not be a buffoon, with Carell not ideally cast in a role that screams for a Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller. While it never comes close to busting a gut, it’s generally fairly amiable, which is something, but it’s still pretty weak brew.