Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Now You See Me", Unless You Don't

If you think "Now You See Me" is a heist movie, think again. If you think it's a supernatural magic movie, you're also wrong. I can explain the whole movie in just a few words. 

  • Magic: There are some very cool illusions in the movie, though, for my money, not nearly enough. I actually enjoyed the four performers' solo stuff at the beginning more than most of the big spectacles they put on later. And the goal the four are working towards by putting on their big, amazing shows is a bit of a letdown at the end.
  • Revelation: The magic debunking/explaining by Morgan Freeman was kind of cool, but I felt like there wasn't enough of it. I wanted to know how they pulled off all their crimes.
  • Plot Holes: Just be careful you don't fall in; they are everywhere and quite gaping. 
  • Acting: Mark Ruffalo is okay, but not great, Jesse Eisenberg is annoying and never redeems himself, and Isla Fisher is the weakest of the lot. I don't know whether to blame the writing, the directing or the acting, but something went wrong here. Both Freeman and Michael Caine are really under-used, and frankly, Caine seems bored. Just collecting a paycheck, maybe? 
  • Also underused: David Franco (younger brother of James Franco) is good as the youngest of the 4 young magicians, but he hardly gets any screen time or dialogue or anything. I was afraid the writers were setting him up to do a "You can't keep ignoring me" tantrum or something, which, thankfully, didn't happen, but it would have been nice to see more of him. 
  • Ta-Da! A big "reveal" at the end makes the entire movie less believable. It just doesn't work. And it doesn't GO anywhere. 
  • Confusing: Toward the end, the sudden romantic behavior of Mark Ruffalo's FBI character, and the french INTERPOL lady are completely unbelievable. I'm using that word literally. 
  • Meh: The way the movie wraps up left me feeling disappointed. What happened to the four magicians after all that crime? The secret society "The Eye of Horus" is barely mentioned; exploring that would have made a much more interesting movie. 
To sum up: Wait for the DVD. "Now You See Me" is just okay. It's not a horrible movie. It's just not nearly as good as I wanted it to be. The story falls flat, the characters are not interesting (I lost track of their motivation early on) and it just felt weak. It would have been much better if it had been science-fictiony ancient magic and breath-taking illusions, like the trailer teased it might be.

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