Four magicians come together to perform, what appears to be, one of the world’s biggest ever heists. But the closer you focus on what you see, the faster you edge to the front of your seat, and the further away you get from the truth.
Magic and cinema go together like red wine and dark chocolate. The combination is simply magnificent. I think everyone can recall a moment when they were exposed to magic, be it from a children’s birthday party entertainer, a side street busker, or a dazzling hour-long theatric performance on a globally renowned stage. From whatever source, the effect remains the same. It leaves an imprint, somewhere inside you, reminding you that sometimes the art of trickery is not to deceive or disappoint, but to enact wonder and delight.
‘Now You See Me’ gathers a quick pace from the start and keeps its highly charged momentum going until the very end. Jesse Eisenberg delivers a decent performance as one of the magicians, and ultimately becomes the unofficial ‘leader’ of the group known as ‘The Four Horsemen’, which for me means more looking at Eisenberg (shameless swooning plug). Woodey Harrelson was a great choice for the role of the pseudo-science mentalist, and leaves verbal quips injecting the humouristic side of trickery at well-timed intervals.
Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, two big hitting Hollywood actors, were rather underutilized however, which was a darn shame. I think this is because the director, Louis Leterrier, had two directions to choose from when trying to make a film about magic. The film could either focus one, on character development, or two, on plot development. Because it is about magic, I think his decision to focus on the plot (at the expense of lowering the impact of said Hollywood names) was ultimately for the best. The effects produced in the film, be they from the reality of illusions or the illusions of reality, made for a visually stunning story to unfold on the screen, and made me forgive Leterrier almost instantly.
I left the cinema with a warm satisfaction in my heart, my thoughts repeating ‘how did they do that?’ and the fire of magic rekindled. Which I think was the intended effect all along.
Well played film, I didn’t see that one coming.