Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Now You See Me (2013)


In what amounts to a magician/trickster-heist movie, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is tracking a group of performance magicians as they seem to be robbing banks and getting away with it since, well, magic isn't real, is it? Rhodes is joined by Interpol agent Alma Dray (M
élanie Laurant), while our heist crew is made up of Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Wilder (James Franco) and Reeves (Isla Fisher). If you haven't had enough stars yet, Morgan Freeman and Michael Cain round out the supporting cast.

With that cast, and a budget of $75 million, Now You See Me could have been so much more. There is nothing spectacular about either the magic tricks we see, and there isn't a great deal of magic in the way the film is shot, either. The ambition is clearly to create a gripping caper movie in the vein of Christopher Nolan's The Prestige (2006) with a taste of Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002), and this venture simply doesn't reach those heights. The best performance comes from fast-talking Jesse Eisenberg, of whom I've always thought heighly, long before Facebook in his debut in the little-known indie flick Roger Dodger (2002); Ruffalo and Fischer stand out as similarly strong performances, while Cain and Freeman deliver the reliable support we can expect from them.

What really turns me off is the ending. It cannot be discussed without spoiling the movie, but I can say that it feels incredibly cheap. It is a cop-out and I felt cheated by it. Where we needed one good writer to craft a clever ending, five writers fumble it and give us something unbecoming of the time, money and acting talent available. It's worth a watch, but beware the disappointment.


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