Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated PG-13 for language, some action and sexual content
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
“Now You See Me” is essentially a movie whose narrative is played out like a magic trick. And I love magic, but here is the thing about a well done trick: If every part of the trick (especially one that lasts two hours) isn’t engaging enough to keep the viewer interested, then most certainly the outcome will be disregarded, no matter how amazeballs it may be.
The Synopsis: After a team of magicians, who call themselves The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and to a lesser extent Isla Fisher and Dave Franco) pull off a bank robbery in a bank located halfway around the world during a live Las Vegas performance, an FBI agent and an Interpol detective played by Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent (who is horribly unnecessary here) respectively, must work together in order to get to the bottom of it all.
Director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) does the best he can with the material allotted. All the visuals are on point, so the fact that the script contains a huge lull for the entirety of the second act (and part of the third) isn’t really his fault. This leads me to the main issue with “Now You See Me”. This is a film which begins with a visual bang. A bang so hypnotizing that it completely masks its own confusingly weak premise. And for about 40 minutes, due to Leterrier’s direction and how Ruffalo, Harrelson and Eisenberg interact with each other, “Now You See Me” does maintain an impressive, high octane, cat and mouse entertainment level. But as the movie progresses, it is the elongated second act which may lose the interest of many audience members and a final rather shocking, but overall nonsensical reveal in the final act, which may lose the rest.
Side Note: Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine both have supporting roles in this movie, and in fact do have one pretty epic interaction. But neither of them do enough here to allot them any more space in this review, so…
Final Thought: It is the rather snappy and well delivered humor throughout, which keeps this film from totally becoming derailed during its questionable latter half. But the more I had hoped that this was going to be a comedic “The Prestige”, the more it became a misguided, moral-centric Robin Hood. That said, the most damning thing I can say about “Now You See Me” is that it’s a definite instance of: the more you have time to think about what you’ve just seen, the worse this movie becomes.
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