Fans instead flock to see Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), an unrefined, energetic, in-yo'-face guerilla magician whose show, the unfortunately titled 'Mind Rape', is quite literally violating the senses of everyone it touches. As Gray's stock rises, Wonderstone's consequently diminishes, his partnership with Marvelton is broken and his career left in tatters. Finding solace in his old magician idol, Rance Holloway (Oscar nominee Alan Arkin) and glamorous new assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde), Burt sets off to rediscover his incredible magic touch.
That said, Carell is always likeable and does muster some great laughs - particularly through his chemistry with Buscemi, who himself is great as the sidelined Marvelton. The rabbit at the bottom of the hat though is Carrey, who shimmies back onto the screen with great aplomb. His Gray is the love child of Blaine and The Mask's Stanley Ipkiss, mixed with a dash of Lloyd Christmas; part ballsy entertainer, physical impossibility and sheer dumbness. Relishing his return to comedy, Carrey doesn't miss a beat, and revels in an edgier supporting role without the weight of carrying the movie.
When it hits the right notes, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a frivolous joy, with Carrey stealing the rug from under his co-stars with all the joie de vivre of his earlier comic outings. Carell makes as decent a fist as he's capable of in a somewhat unorthodox role, and the support from Buscemi, Arkin and Wilde is strong enough; yet none of them really have quite what it takes to leave third gear. That's perhaps Burt Wonderstone's biggest problem - Scardino never shifts up a notch to really test himself, or the rich material at hand.