Like a bubbly glass of Champagne, “Focus” is an enjoyable con story that’s as glamorous and fancy as any “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise installment. Main character Nicky (Will Smith) also has an elaborate multi-member group, but they go for lots of little grifts and person-to-person plans rather of huge casino break-ins. The bulk of “Focus” has to do with blending love with deceptiveness, as Nicky recruits a gorgeous brand-new protégé, Jess (Margot Robbie), and attempts to withstand his immediate destination to her.
What follows is a traditional breeze through a plot that twists so often, it’s much better to let it wash over you than follow it beat by beat. “Focus” contributes a brand-new term to the con artist lexicon in creating the “Toledo Panic Button,” essentially the “shoot the captive” maneuver from “Speed,” and has numerous memorable montages of Nicky’s crew in action that have a bigger scale than most films in the genre. Eventually, it cruises on the chemistry of its two stars as they link, reconnect, and both wind up conning one another. Love, in its timeless and heady style, turns out to be the riskiest confidence video game of all.