Opening this weekend is the magic crime caper Now You See Me. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. From the film’s official synopsis:
Now You See Me pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against “The Four Horsemen”, a super-team of the world’s greatest illusionists. “The Four Horsemen” pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.
Now You See Me confuses me a bit. It’s not the plot or anything like that, I got the surprise twist ending well before the big reveal. It’s just that I don’t understand why it’s being released now. It’s not a bad movie, but Summer Blockbuster Season started and well it’s not that type of movie. It’s not going to be able to compete against Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III, Iron Man 3 and even the new film opening against it, After Earth. They are calling The Hangover Part III a disappointment because the film only made $62 million over its first four days. I repeat $62 million in FOUR DAYS. If it wasn’t for a pretty well known cast, I don’t know if this movie would make $62 million in four weeks.
It’s that cast that makes the film watchable. The idea of magicians being master thieves is intriguing, but these are more Robin Hood thieves doing it to show up corrupt businesses and that didn’t do much for me. I would have rather them just robbing for their own benefit. But the cast has some of the best actors going. Everyone knows Morgan Freeman could read the phone book and we would pay to see it, but re-teaming with his Dark Knight trilogy cast member Michael Caine is always smart. Mark Ruffalo is one of the best American actors going and Isla Fisher easily handles the sexy magician role. Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg don’t have that perfect back and forth like they had in Zombieland, but they have good chemistry together and with the others especially scenes with Isla. Dave Franco is good enough in his role as the fourth Horseman and Melanie Laurent is quite good too. Common almost makes an appearance as does Michael Kelly.
I think my immediate reaction to the film just stands out the most more than anything else. Why now? Why not September or October when a film like this could have a good showing and maybe finished first (or a solid second) at the box office? It’s not a bad film per se, but it will easily get lost at the theater. Early reports have After Earth doing about $30-40 million (besides crushing reviews, fans still love their Will Smith) and I could easily see Fast 6 doing that plus more to remain number one. I’d be shocked if this cracked the top 5 and it would because of name recognition. The concept is overall cool, but it’s not Summertime big enough. Even though the director has some cool action films under his belt, the film just doesn’t quite get big enough for a release this time of year.