Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Fast-paced and Captivating
Who doesn’t love a little magic now and then? Personally, I grew up watching the stage presence of David Copperfield, David Blaine, and yes, even a bit of Criss Angel Mindfreak. How these incredible people have the ability to bend reality in new and improved ways has always impressed me to no end. Criss Angel, for example, has done so many new tricks you might even start to think the man is a warlock messing with forces bigger than him…but we’re not here to talk about him. We’re here to talk about Now You See Me, the new magical thriller which hit theaters a few months back.
Jesse Eisenberg stars in this film as Daniel Atlas, a street magician with a taste for sleight of hand. Moving along, we are introduced to hypnotist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson); escape artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher); and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). Together, they received a message to meet at a building, and at that building they are given blueprints…to something. The next thing you know, all four are working together under the name “The Four Horsemen”. Their biggest trick? Robbing an international bank through the use of magic. Hot on their tail is Officer Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) who can’t lock these magicians up, because the government isn’t too keen on accepting “magic” as an M.O. So the magicians are always a step ahead of the police, and continue to steal from the rich and give to the needy…like Robin Hood!
I was fully expecting a movie using real magic like The Prestige to get away with crimes. Maybe I thought that partially due to Michael Caine’s involvement, but that’s not how it goes. These are actual tricks thought out meticulously by the best magicians in the world. We know they are tricks, as they are explained by Magic-Buster Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), who explains their tricks one step too late. So apart from this being a Robin Hood story, it’s also cat and mouse, and magicians using their incomprehensible abilities to thwart the authorities all for a confusing end goal…which has to do with a secret society of magicians…or something…called The Eye.
Now, I know they say some things are better off unexplained, and I know a magician is never supposed to explain his tricks, but that doesn’t mean the same applies to film. The reason why I bring this up is because there is something very specific that happens near the end of the film that doesn’t make much sense at all. You can only use the excuse of sleight of hand, or magic so much before the movie really needs a better explanation than that. I won’t dive into what really happened too deeply other than to say it didn’t make any sense with the rest of the movie…surprises are supposed to surprise you and make you go, “ooohhhh, I get it, cool!”. Not this time folks, this time it’s just confusing. That, however, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole.
This is a real action-filled movie with enough excitement to have you wonder how it’ll end, and it’s unique enough for you not to know what’ll come next. The look of the film succeeded in what it was originally going for. The characters work rather well together, especially when dealing with each other’s adversaries. The movie itself looks really neat, especially with the first trick in the movie, which included the film’s audience…that was done pretty smart and made you wonder how they did it…before you remember this is a movie and they can do anything they want.
Now You See Me could have focused more on its structure and overall explanation, but as it is, it turns out to be an exciting escape. Check it out!