|2013||115 Min||Mystery . Thriller . Crime|
An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
|Actors:||Dave Franco , Woody Harrelson , Jesse Eisenberg , Isla Fisher , Mark Ruffalo , Mélanie Laurent , Morgan Freeman , Michael Caine , Michael Kelly , Common|
Now You See Me can’t quite claim to be the ideal crime drama – that would be “The Usual Suspects,” which justly won an Oscar for its script – but it’s only one level down.
This movie has everything up its sleeve and presto chango at its core, ending in defiance to the plot's established logic before viewers realize they've been had.
Much of what makes Now You See Me so entertaining — in a gaudy, disposable, Vegas act sort of way — is its ever-escalating ridiculousness.
It's a little along the same lines as "Ocean's 11" in what it achieves and, like that film, there's plenty of Oscar power among the actors - a combined 15 nominations, to be precise.
At times, Now You See Me suggests Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" made with a throwaway wink.
Now You See Me, which is essentially an "Ocean’s" movie recast with illusionists, demands a kind of childlike fascination with swindles, and a willingness to be hoodwinked along with the characters. Walk in with those expectations and it won’t be hard to see the appeal of this ludicrous but spirited caper, which has nearly as many rug-pulls as game movie stars.
The film itself is sly and smug in kind, fleetingly enjoyable for all of its old-school showmanship and high-tech hokiness.
Leterrier's film is a reminder that sometimes a good yarn can do enough heavy lifting on its own to provide thrills. Whether or not the illusion pays off will be up to you, but the trick itself may be intriguing enough.
The problem is that, in focusing on what makes a good caper, director Louis Leterrier forgot about what makes a good movie: character development, carefully constructed tension and believable plot points.
There's a great movie out now about magicians, sleight-of-hand maestros, illusionists, card and coin tricksters. Now You See Me is not that movie.
Ocean’s Eleven meets The Prestige? Not quite. Starts well, ends in a heap, but in between there’s just enough splash and flash to distract from the lack of substance
Thanks to some accomplished hocus pocus and an appealing cast, this would-be “Ocean’s Eleven” of the magic world remains watchable throughout, even as it plods along without ever quite fulfilling its potential.
A sleight-of-hand heist film that feels like a cross between David Blaine and "Ocean's Eleven," with a little Robin Hood thrown in, it's a ripping bit of fun. If, that is, you let it be.
When functioning like a magic trick, this breathlessly entertaining picture delights in its showmanship, but the more entertaining the trickery, the tougher the explanation, and when the truth is revealed the answer can't help but fail to satisfy.
Although the filmmakers reportedly worked with David Copperfield and other renowned real-life illusionists and tried to minimize the use of CGI, you're still left wondering how much of the magic is merely the kind Hollywood spits out by the terabyte.
Leterrier’s film is the kind that doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny: The more you know about it, the more befuddled you’ll be.
It's mostly smoke and mirrors. After Freeman's snooze became a YouTube fixture, the actor jokingly dismissed the nap, saying he was using "Google eyelids" to check his Facebook account. You may find yourself attempting the same feat, because Now has little up its sleeve.
There is nothing magical about seeing one’s umpteenth car chase. Mark Ruffalo plays the weirdly scruffy FBI agent on the case, while Morgan Freeman, in super-slow mode, plays a famous magic debunker. He’d make the ideal critic for this movie.
There's nothing behind all this sturm und drang but a lineup of insubstantial ciphers, all false fronts and empty words in a pretend world not quite conducive to emotional investment.
There’s a fine line sometimes, as "This is Spinal Tap" reminded us, between stupid and clever. Now You See Me wobbles along that tightrope for much of its running time.
The editing of the action sequences is an insult to the idea of narrative clarity.
A superficially diverting but substance-free concoction, a would-be thriller as evanescent as a magic trick and one that develops no suspense or rooting interest because the characters possess all the substance of invisible ink.
Now You See Me is a movie about magic, but its most astonishing trick is how little mileage it gets out of a stellar cast.
For all its showmanship, Now You See Me has a lot less up its sleeve than it lets on.
Overcooked, overcomplicated and underinteresting, this heist caper turns into a mess.
Director Leterrier keeps the camera moving and swooping throughout the film as if the Steadicam were another device in the magicians’ tool belt. A clear sense of space and sleight-of-hand is rarely achieved.
When Mark Ruffalo shows up as a crumpled detective, you expect a dose of reality, yet on his heels come twin hams Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, whose solemn presences (as Christopher Nolan knows well) prove wonderful distractions from silliness.
It's all a little dumb, but the movie boasts several non-CG tricks and a few genuinely mesmerizing set pieces including a hand-to-hand-to-magic combat scene between Ruffalo and the spry Franco.
For all the talent up on the screen — and one can't fault the performances — the movie just doesn't deliver.
Long before the story culminates with a preposterous final revelation, whatever hopes you had that Now You See Me might have had anything to say about the profession of magic, rampant greed or anything else have been dashed.
For a while, Leterrier does manage to conjure up a little bit of magic between all these charming actors. And then, presto: Just like that, it’s gone.
I left this movie feeling I’d been had. And not in a good way.
None of these seemingly plot-rich questions are explored; instead, we’re stuck with a greasy-haired Mark Ruffalo, as his detective character flounders along in their wake, muttering that he doesn’t have time for this magic crap.
This is a slick con, all flash and no substance. Now You See Me seems awfully sure of itself, with self-important, intrusive music, sweeping tracking shots and actors chewing up the scenery.
1. Codec ( Performer: Zedd )
2. Ash Wednesday Sunrise ( Performer: Galactic )
3. Cineramascope ( Performer: Galactic feat. Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry )
4. Goodnight Benny ( Performer: Duncan Watt )
5. Let's Take a Stroll On the Boardwalk ( Writer: )
6. Entertainment ( Performer: Phoenix )
7. Spellbound (Remix) ( Writer: )
8. Sun ( Performer: Two Door Cinema Club Itunes )
9. Cineramascope (feat. Trombone Shorty & Corey Henry) ( Performer: Galactic Itunes )
10. Now You Don't ( Performer: Brian Tyler Itunes )
11. Now You See Me ( Performer: Brian Tyler Itunes )
12. Welcome To the Eye ( Performer: Brian Tyler Itunes )
13. Sleight of the Mind ( Performer: Brian Tyler Itunes )
14. The Four Horsemen ( Performer: Brian Tyler Itunes )