Friday, May 31, 2013
Now You See Me
A few years ago, it seems there was an influx of "magic" movies, but then the trend disappeared. Now You See Me tries to be both a magic film and a mystery thriller, and in that it succeeds; however, the movie wasn't quite as good as it could have been, with that all-star cast it possesses.
The movie starts out with four independent street magicians: Henley (Isla Fisher), J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Jack (Dave Franco), and Merritt (Woody Harrelson). Each of these magicians have their own tricks that they perform, and each of them receive a mysterious card with only a time and place listed, which ends up being an apartment in an old, rundown building. Henley used to be J. Daniel's assistant, but other than that, the four do not know each other, for the most part. Flash-forward a year later, and they are performing in Vegas as The Four Horsemen, where they do something extraordinary: they pick someone out of the audience who actually robs a bank, in Paris, no less. The FBI's Dylan Hobbs (Mark Ruffalo) start to investigate them, as does Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a magic trick exposer who stands to profit from figuring out how they did the trick, and Thaddeus has no interest in helping the FBI. It's only after the Four Horseman screw over their benefactor, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), that Arthur wants them taken down as well, and he hired Thaddeus at twice what Thaddeus stands to profit to figure out their trick and expose them.
The magic sequences in this film were VERY cool. The Four Horsemen perform at the MGM Grand in Vegas, as well as the Savoy in New Orleans, and both times they do interesting tricks that won't easily be figured out. The four magicians work well together, and part of the mystery of the movie is that you only see them in private conversations with each other a few times; other than that, it's up to the FBI and Thaddeus to figure out their secrets. The acting is very good here as well, by everyone, but one of my chief complaints is that I didn't really buy the romance scenario between Dylan (Ruffalo) and his Interpol counterpart, Alma (Melanie Laurent).
Yes, see this film. It wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be, but it's still entertaining, and there's a major twist at the end that I didn't see coming. When the film opened, it reminded me of Ocean's 11 a bit but with magic, as their chosen audience member "robs" the bank, and that vibe continued throughout the movie. Although the film wasn't as good as I thought it would be, and definitely isn't the best magic movie I've seen, it's still worth watching, and it stands out as unique among some of the summer blockbusters that will hit theaters soon.
Now You See Me is in theaters today, May 31st, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 116 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.