Movie Review: Now You See Me

Ratings for reviews will appear above the fold, while the review itself will appear below the fold to avoid spoilers for anyone that wants to go into it with a blank slate.

Jean-Paul’s rating: 3/5 stars

It’s magic!  F$%^& you!

We want to be fooled.  There are many outlets in life that are there mainly to fool us.  Magic is the most fun.  It’s the most fun because you go in knowing you’re being fooled and yet it doesn’t matter.  But how do you make a movie where you keep the audience in the dark and well as let them in on the trick?  “Now You See Me” does a pretty good job of walking that line.

The story is pretty simple.  Four top magicians are brought together by an unknown individual to perform the ultimate magic trick, robbing banks while on stage.  The intro shows the hooded individual scoping out each of the magicians and their particular specialties and leaving them a calling card.

In a bit of beautiful movie magic, there is a card trick that is performed at the beginning where the magician flashes quickly through a deck of cards and asks his audience to watch and choose one of the cards.  He then does the reveal and it was the card that both myself and my brother had picked.  I’m sure they slowed the camera down on that specific card or blurred the other cards or something, but it was quite the trick nonetheless.

The movie starts out wonderfully with maybe a few too many pointless special effects.  All the magic tricks are well performed.  The reveals for the tricks are almost believable if you don’t think about it too hard.  The end payoff is mostly satisfying if a little unbelievable.

The only problem with the movie is the third quarter.  For some inexplicable reason, they decided to turn it into an action movie for a while.  I can almost hear the studio executives sitting in a room discussing the movie and saying, “Oh, this is good, but it needs a car chase!”  Stupid studio executives.  Cerebral movies just can’t be made by Hollywood.  I would bet $10 that the original script called for one of the magicians to be captured and magically escape.

If you don’t let the action sequence mar your movie going experience, though, “Now You See Me” is a pretty fun ride.  It has a top notch cast including Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jesse Eisenberg.  And everyone could use a little magic in their life.