Now You See Me — movie review
Release date: May 31, 2013
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Ed Solomon
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman
Look closely, because throughout the hour and forty plus minute running time of “Now You See Me”, the Four Horsemen show you everything you need to know about how they pull off their magic and yet, you’ll still never see it coming in this surprisingly fun and energetic movie.
The film centers on four magicians, each with a different skill set, who come together to form a magical act called The Four Horsemen. There’s J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), his former assistant turned magician, Henley (Isla Fisher), the mentalist, Merritt (Woody Harrelson), and the con, Jack (Dave Franco). Together, they put aside their differences to form their magical act and use their shows to perform elaborate heists, including a bank in Paris.
For every magical act, there is someone out there trying to pull the curtain back and expose them. The Four Horsemen, who appear to be stealing money from their targets and giving the money to the audience, have to deal with an FBI agent played by Mark Ruffalo and an Interpol agent played by Mélanie Laurent, as well as a scorned and jaded former magician, Thaddeus Bradley, who follows magicians around, debunking their magic.
The Four Horsemen lead them on a wild goose chase, staging their acts/heists with the confidence and bravado of people who know they’re not going to get caught — that is unless they make a mistake. But a good magician is a good magician because they manage to stay one step ahead of everyone else, even when they know their audience is starting to figure out their little game.
As far as the rest goes, the less you know going in, the better. Directed by Louis Leterrier (“The Incredible Hulk”), the film is fresh, fun and unpredictable from the opening frames. Despite carrying an unnecessary five screenwriters, the movie stays fairly focused. The twists and turns never seem too far fetched and somehow manages to avoid all the tacky clichés that usually come with a movie about magic.
But it’s the cast that truly sells this trick. Eisenberg and Harrelson build off their great “Zombieland” chemistry. Fisher and Franco fit right in to the group. Ruffalo, coming off his Hulk popularity, continues to show that he is one of the most underrated actors working today and even though Morgan Freeman seems a little bored, he still does his thing and does it well.
The best part of a magic trick is trying to figure out how they pulled it off. “Now You See Me” will keep you guessing right up until the film’s final moments. But watch closely, but not too close, because you just might miss the slight of hand and plot misdirection happening right under your nose.
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