“Now You See Me” follows four talented magicians currently running their own acts who come together, technically beckoned by tarot cards, to form a group of illusionists referred to as The Four Horseman under the watchful direction of The Eye. Call them magicians or call them glorified thieves; either way you’d be right.
The Four Horseman have put together three acts in three cities meant to dazzle audiences and make them a little bit richer. Literally. They make money fall from the ceiling, which is the kind of magic I’d like to see at any show. Henley (Isla Fisher) a former assistant to Danny (Jesse Eisenberg) join Merritt (Woody Harrelson) and Jack (Dave Franco) to form the group, each of them bringing their own special talents. Their shows are funded by rich man Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and their tricks uncovered by former magician Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) who makes millions off of DVDs that reveal their secrets.
After their first magic heist where they transport an audience member from a Las Vegas stage to his bank in France to rob it, they have FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and his Interpol-assigned agent (Melanie Laurent) on their tails trying to figure out how to stop them. Inexplicably, this twosome have time to somehow have romantic intentions towards each other, a storyline both unnecessary and unbelievable.
The magic is entertaining and to be shown the mysteries of the illusion as unveiled by Thaddeus is kind of cool, but the story overall is a bit of a mess leaving questions unanswered. With an interesting cast, I was hoping for more of a pop from their performances but none of them really stood out at all; just Jesse Eisenberg’s typical fast-talking dialogue.
The Eye represents the golden ticket the foursome is after, but what is the ultimate reward when they follow through on the instructions given? What does The Eye mean and why do they believe in its importance? These drifting questions left me with another: what is this all for?
“Now You See Me” is fueled at a fast pace meant to entertain and wow the crowd. I’m not sure it sold every member, but for the duration, which lasted just shy of two hours, my interest was peaked. Knowing there is an explanation behind magic tricks was always the more interesting mystery for me, so when that part of the movie is revealed, I was surprised I felt somewhat slighted.
Final words: The ending falls flat. The magic disappeared around the second act.