When you see a trailer for a movie, you usually get really amped about the ones you are dying to watch and counting down the minutes until it hits theatres (or maybe this is just me). Then there are those films that look interesting and maybe you will see it at some point, but it will probably be in three months and you will be streaming it illegally online. This was my initial thought about the Louis Leterrier movie, Now You See Me. I had zero expectations from this film and I am going to be blunt, that is definitely the way to go about watching this particular piece. The less you know, the better. That being said, I’m pretty sure every magician in the world is now out of a job after this since we now know everything. I predict some angry letters delivered by white rabbits and doves.
Staring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, this heavy hitting cast is definitely a feast for your viewing pleasure. The magic of the movies is definitely in full force from the opening of the film, when the audience is introduced to our four leading solo-acts, Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Fischer), Jack Wilder (Franco), and Merritt McKinney (Harrelson). Brought together by a surreptitious benefactor, the Four Horsemen put on a three-act performance throughout the film, initially robbing money from a Paris bank while in Las Vegas, then from their sponsor Arthur Tressler (Caine) in New Orleans, and finally they shower New York for their grand finale, all while being chased by the FBI, lead by investigators Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Alma Vargas (Laurent).
Clearly, I do not want to spoil the juice of these magic tricks, but what I can say is that film and magic pair well together in that editing is the device that manipulates our minds and deceives us, as we keep looking closer and closer, trying to predict what will happen next, only to no avail. Seriously, such a treat to watch something where the annoying people sitting behind you talking can’t guess what will happen next. Complimentary fist pump is in order.
I want to keep this review short as to not ruin the experience for potential viewers because that would be like watching The Sixth Sense and telling everyone right away that (spoiler alert) Bruce Willis is dead the whole time. Oops. Sorry if you haven’t seen that yet. I gave you over a decade.
For a movie that could have gone horrible wrong by being super pretentious and overbearing in its use of trickery, Now You See Me has just the right amount of fun, entertainment, surprise, humour, frustration, and a weird addition of love, mixed together in Hollywood’s giant money making pot. It is about time this industry released an original feature not based on a novel and is not the sixth instalment in a franchise. Kudos. Unless they are the ones deceiving us into thinking so? I mean, they are the ones stealing our hard earned dollars from us. Quelle rat!
To make your viewing decision easier, I have devised a list of things that may help in your decisiveness.
Reasons to see this movie:
1. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are bad-ass old men
2. Dave Franco is a beauty to the eyes
3. Woody Harrelson’s humour is on point
4. The magic tricks are ACTUALLY impressive and never redundant or too absurd
5. Melanie Laurent’s french accent
6. If you want to tell every magician you’ve ever met how they do their tricks and feel like a boss
7. Conan O’Brien makes a cameo
Reasons to avoid:
1. Mark Ruffalo’s awkward love with Laurent (still don’t buy it…sorry)
2. Jesse Eisenberg’s hair
3. Morgan Freeman only narrates for five minutes