Focus has one of my favorite cold openings for a trailer that I've seen in recent memory. Tough to say whether the film will begin that way, but it's doubtful. There is so much mystery and energy immediately conjured up during this single shot of a man driving a car, fastening on a helmet, speeding up and then crashing... into a car driven by Will Smith! "That's what you get when you hire a conman," Smith's icon voiceover tells us and then the real cookie-cutter trailer for Focus follows.
Will Smith (who we haven't seen in a lead role since Men In Black 3) plays Nicky, a veteran conman who decides to take the seductive and skillful Jess Barrett under his tutelage. Jess is played by Margot Robbie, who turned just about everyone's head in last year's The Wolf of Wall Street, not just because she's practically a perfect looking woman, but because she held her own acting-wise in every single one of her scenes opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. Why do I think that Jess is working a long con on Nicky from the very beginning? Probably because we've seen that time and time again. Hope for something different, don't be surprised when it isn't.
Focus comes to us from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (the writers and directors of such films as I Love You Phillip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love.). For me, and probably for you, it's the involvement of Smith and possibly Robbie that offer any shred of promise for this winter release. Aside from the first few seconds it's a pretty standard trailer that manages to show us every scene and change songs at least four times throughout. Let's hope there's more creative storytelling to be had than the film's marketing would let on.
Focus crashes into theaters on February 27th, 2015. Will you be there to brace for impact? Share your excitement level or any other thoughts on this trailer in the comments below.