- Starring: Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) and more.
- Directed by: Louis Leterrier (The Transporter)
- 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.”
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for language, action and some sexual content
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Director Louis Leterrier must have been “watching closely” and paying attention when he watched Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. It has been a while since we’ve seen a magician movie (No…Magic Mike does not count as a magician movie!) and I loved the trailer from the first time I saw it: magic, heists, phenomenal cast! Wow! But, then, I paid a little closer attention to it and realized that the director also directed 2010’s Clash of the Titans (even though he DID also direct the first two Transporter films and The Incredible Hulk), and this made me reel in my anticipation just a tad.
While Now You See Me is no Prestige, it does bring some pretty enjoyable entertainment to the card table of magician movies. Hit the jump to read more of my thoughts on Now You See Me.
“Come in close. Because the more you think you see, the easier it’ll be to fool you.”
It is always interesting that no matter how much magic movies repeat lines like this, people still end up with the “Ahhh” and “Oohh” moments! 🙂 And it is what we enjoy from such movies. When a film can pull the wool over your eyes or pull off a magic trick and truly surprise you, that’s when it becomes fun and interesting. Now You See Me starts off that way and keeps the momentum, for the most part, through its intrigue, mystery and witty characters.
If you’ve watched the trailer or read the synopsis (see above) then you know that aside from magic, this film is also about heists that are being pulled off, allegedly, by The Four Horsemen. Much like Oprah and Ellen, audience members of The Four Horsemen end up hitting the jackpot with financial gifts received at each show, but all is not as it appears and we switch seats throughout the show as we join with the Four Horsemen, the FBI team chasing them and the audience in watching this entire performance unfold with impressive excitement (although, don’t expect showers of dollar bills to fall upon you as you watch the film…sorry. That was a one time deal at my theater only!) 🙂
The cast make this film even more fun, although they all play parts pretty similar to other characters they’ve played before. Starring Michael Caine, Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Common, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and more, it is fun to see them all work together…seemingly in their element. While there’s not anything particularly wrong with that, I’d like to see a movie with Jesse Eisenberg and not think “Hey, that’s the guy in The Social Network…same charm, same almost everything!” They all do they parts well though, so no real complaint, but you’ll understand when you see it.
The magic is what makes half of this film so much fun. The feats and proposed presentations of the once-upon-a-time street performers that have been catapulted to Vegas stage fame are mindblowingly fun to say the least. Letterier captured the essence of the captivating entertainment of magic and displays it very well onscreen. Each of the characters do their part, although some of them are a bit more annoying or…shall I say not as useful as you might think for the story as a whole (i.e. a rather inconsequential love interest and more).
However, the two plots that coexist in this film work side by side and keep you guessing almost all the way throughout and it is one exhilarating show. With high speed chases, rabbits in hat tricks, floating money, bank robberies and a surprising prestige, Now You See Me won’t have you saying “I really saw that coming” and that’s what makes it fun. Lacking in a little bit of editing and storytelling, the films smoke and mirrors work to just let your brain enjoy the show…so, it is…in and of itself, a magic trick.
Getting some mixed reviews, ultimately I enjoyed Now You See Me and found it not to be tedious but a bit tacky come the final reveal. A great cast sometimes causes you to expect an equally great film (Inception, Oceans Eleven, etc), ESPECIALLY when there are heists involved. While not GREAT, Now You See Me is a good entertaining and cinematic show. Check it out and be amazed alongside so many other magic lovers in theaters this weekend.
My Score: 3 out of 5 stars for Now You See Me
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 200 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer