Focus review

Let Will Smith and Margot Robbie con you into enjoying this light and frothy caper

After a series of duds stretching back several years, Will Smith rediscovers his mojo playing third-generation con artist Nicky Spurgeon in this likeable cinematic caper. Nicky's perfectly ordered life starts to get a little more tricky when he agrees to mentor inexperienced grifter Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie), only to start falling in love with her. But is their relationship real or just part of yet another con?

Fun, slick and sexy, Focus is a fine example of what the right actors can bring to a film. While the twisting narrative ends up feeling a little unfocused, the sheer charm and chemistry of the two leads ensures it remains entertaining. It's been a long time since audiences have seen Smith having this much fun on screen, and it's a reminder of how affable his screen persona can be. Meanwhile, the impossibly beautiful Robbie proves to be an ideal partner in crime, matching Smith stroke for stroke when it comes to comic timing and charisma.

Picture: Warner's AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode brings the strength of the film's cinematography to the fore. Colour saturation is wonderfully rich (check out the close-ups of Smith's neon-lit face in Chapter 3), black levels are suitably inky and detail levels remain strong throughout. Very impressive.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Devoid of fights, car chases and shoot outs, Focus doesn't seem like the type of film that is crying out for a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack on Blu-ray. However, what it lacks in powerful dynamics it makes up for with its playful approach to atmospheric audio (as evidenced by the use of positional cues during the transition to the Buenos Aires race track in Chapter 6). Meanwhile, the grifter dialogue sounds rich and warm, and remains perfectly intelligible and all times.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Best of a meagre bunch is Masters of Misdirection: The Players in a Con (10 minutes), which talks to the consultants who aided the filmmakers about the art of swindling. The two other featurettes – Will Smith: Gentleman Thief (six minutes) and Margot Robbie: Stealing Hearts (four minutes) – are typical studio puff pieces. The disc also includes four deleted scenes and an alternate opening.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: A fun 'rom-con' made that bit more enjoyable on Blu-ray by its superb picture and sound quality

Focus, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £25 Approx