NOW YOU SEE ME
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 1, 2013
“Now You See Me” takes you for a ride. Whether it’s a ride without bumps is up to your interpretation. Four magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, unveil a three-act, three-location show and turn out to be very successful bank robbers. The magicians use an “Ocean’s 11” model of sleight of hand and misdirection to rob high-end banks.
The film does succeed in assembling a well-trained team of actors who carry their roles to new heights. Jesse Eisenberg steps up as the clear front-runner, taking a majority of the memorable lines and screen-time. His comfort in the cocky part makes him stand out and breaks him out of his previous typecast (helped mainly through his role in “The Social Network”). Isla Fisher is hardly allowed to develop; although she too steps into a unique position for herself, she is sweet enough to grab your attention. Woody Harrelson is kept at bay for most of the film, except for a few moments where he’s allowed to shine. Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent also make a great team as the officers chasing down the Horsemen. Add Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine to round out the cast, and it rivals most blockbuster films this summer.
Now, the film loses steam in its presentation, and it relies on paper-thin plot points. A movie about magic could do a much better job at presenting more of a reality rather than relying on digital effects. Had the film used more practicals in its magic, I would have been more impressed, but since you can do absolutely anything with CGI, there’s little incentive to believe this could happen. With that, the plot falls a bit thin. Although it entertains throughout, keeping you guessing until the end, the character’s motives are relatively weak. Their end goal is abstract, leaving the audience wondering why the means justify the end.
As with most films that rely on a considerable twist, “Now You See Me” is only a fresh new film once and will be slightly less entertaining the second time through. That said, Louis Leterrier does a fantastic job entertaining and allows this star-studded cast to sell this film.
May 31, 2013
(for language, some action and sexual content)