Now You See Me
Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
Produced By: Bobby Cohen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent
Plot: A group of street-magicians are brought together to form 'The Four Horsemen'. Together they perform dazzling Las Vegas shows, whilst stealing money and showering it upon their audiences. But is there something bigger at play?
The concept of the film is pretty intriguing, a group of magicians becoming criminals. Because let's be honest, that would be pretty fun to watch. And it is, throughout the film, there are some brilliant gimmicks and tricks the group pull on and around the watchful eyes of the FBI. The group themselves are an odd bunch, but yet the dynamic that they create is truly brilliant. Towards the end, the characters become lost within their plots and schemes, resulting in being off screen for several scenes. the story is quite well written, with the magicians having an end goal that is built up throughout with the finding of an ancient order of magicians (Who come across as more intelligent versions of Robin Hood, without the arrows). It's almost as if this is the lovechild of National Treasure and Oceans Eleven.
My favourite element of the film was the role of Mark Ruffalo's character. His character, becomes slowly unraveled throughout, becoming more desperate as the Horsemen stay three steps ahead constantly. There's a brilliant scene in which Harrelson's character deduces various pieces of information about him, and we see the frustration build up in him, with the anger in his eyes almost becoming fiery. We almost expect Ruffalo to revert back to his previous role, and burst into the Hulk. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are reunited for the first time since Zombieland, and the chemistry between the two is still fresh and comedic.
I do feel that the role of Michael Caine was poorly written. His dialogue felt quite clunky and didn't seem to fit the man himself. He didn't come across as a villain at all, rather the village idiot to point and laugh at. Which is a shame considering the vast talent Caine has. The other prominent actor, God himself, Morgan Freeman, was quietly impressive as the slimy, jealous ex-magician. I love the fact that he's not in a role that requires him to be his motivational, happy self. It was a breath of fresh air to see him do something very different.
The ending, unfortunately is quite disappointing. Throughout the film, we are led to believe that the magicians' finale will be the biggest trick ever created. That the end goal will blow our minds, and it's never been done before. When in reality, the final trick is admirable, but nothing to what we've been led to believe. Although, the sub-plot regarding the death of a magician soon takes over and provides a rather impressive twist concerning one character. But unfortunately this is the only positive point about the finale. So whilst Now You See Me is for the most an intelligent thriller, it tries too hard and falls at the last hurdle. Shame really.
Written By Eammon Jacobs