‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ is smart, funny, and does an adequate job projecting the illusion of substance.
The best con artists let the rube have fun while they’re being hustled. The wonderful new scam-fest, Focus, has learned this lesson well. Of course, none of the scams hold up to later scrutiny, but they’re fun as hell when you’re in the thick of it. Like a simplified Mamet thriller hopped up on Out of Sight juice, Focus breezes by on the confident charm of Will Smith and a clever script that pays off each slight-of-hand with a masterful reveal. So far, this is easily the most entertaining Hollywood film of 2015.
Pop music warns us that you can’t hurry love. Apparently, you can’t hurry the apocalypse, either. The new sci-fi flick, Z for Zachariah, has all the hallmarks of a Young Adult schmaltz-fest, but too much depressing reality to appeal to its target audience. Genre miscalculations aside, this movie fails because of the lethargic pacing and a lack of romantic tension between its three impossibly-handsome leads. The apocalypse has never been so boring.