<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Louis Leterrier. With Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, Common
Just watching the trailer to this film I knew I’d want to watch it and though it could have been much better it’s still a fun, well-paced movie that you should go watch this weekend.
Yes they do give away one or two of the magic tricks in the trailer but that still doesn’t take away from the sheer audacity and adrenalin-packed sequences in Now You See Me. The fact that the cast have a decent amount of chemistry and bubbliness to them helps too.
From the very first scene in this film, you are wowed by magic. A card trick performed by street magician Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) is so brilliantly executed that not only does his volunteer in the movie pick a card that he guesses right but even the audience – well most of it – will pick the very same card in their heads. Certainly a novel way to engage your audience.
Daniel, mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), shock artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and slight-of-hand man Jack Wilder (Dave Franco, yes, James Franco’s little brother) are all cased for their talents and recruited by a mysterious individual. Cut to a year later when the group, now christened The Four Horsemen, have found a rich benefactor Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who takes them to the stages of Las Vegas for tricks that involve stealing a bank in Switzerland and giving the money to the audience!
Reluctant Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is assigned to the case with a French agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) from Interpol. He knows the tricks are illusion but doesn’t know the how. In comes Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a magician who turned debunker, unmasking the secrets of magic tricks for people who enjoy stark realities to a bit of magical fun.
Through Now You See Me, tricks both traditionally magical and CGI-generated are on display. Of course they’ve taken the magic a bit further for effect. They do in fact explain away a lot of the grand tricks of the Four Horsemen but the sheer audaciousness and brilliance of the pull offs put a smile on your face.
Of course the mystery and purpose behind it all keeps you on edge too. The cast are all pretty good. They keep you guessing; at one point you’ll think oh he’s the man behind the Horsemen, at another you’ll say, no it is she. Well I can say that I was truly surprised at the ultimate reveal.
Just like the magician’s maxim ‘The closer you look, the less you see’, you must watch Now You See Me without getting into the details or plot holes. Does it make you smile? Yes. Does it entertain? Certainly. Does it make you believe in magic again or at least make you not want to be logical about magic? Go find out.