Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Now You See Me" is a Must-See

                Upon entering the theatre to see “Now You See Me,” by happenstance I found nine dollars lying on the ground.  Ironically, the premise of Louis Leterrier’s latest film is for the audience members to receive monetary prizes for spectating their show.  Laced with massive heists, prestidigitation, and a stellar cast, “Now You See Me” is a must-see this summer. Be sure to "Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see."

                Four tricksters-an escape artist, a pickpocket, a sleight-of-hand card magician and a mind reader-are called together unexpectedly for a mission from a mysterious figure.  Together, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fischer, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson make up the Four Horsemen.  This team of magicians makes their way through the United States.  Making three stops at Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York, where a fantastic heist is pulled off.  Millions of dollars are stolen, and crowds everywhere are mesmerized. 

                However, there is more to these heists than meets the eye.  FBI agent Dylan Rhoades (Mark Ruffalo) teams up with Interpol agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent), and a professional illusion deconstructor Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) to break down what is really going on. 

                The film as a whole was generally satisfying.  The casting was absolutely wonderful; I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Although the film’s producers were considering older actors and actresses to play the leads, I think the chosen individuals were ideal.  They all brought something to the film, and didn’t take away from the storyline.   

The cinematography was very effective.  Like watching a magic trick live, your attention was brought to various places.  As soon as you thought you caught up and were one step ahead of the supposed con-artist, they were really three ahead of you.  “How did he do that?” was a constant thought throughout various scenes for me.  Although camera angles were constantly changing and some may argue it can distract from what is really happening, in this type of film it was very effective. 

The one aspect of the film that I disliked was the fact that the elaborate, flashy magic acts were products of Hollywood.  Watching tricks as those performed in the film wouldn’t have been plausible in reality without the assistance of special effects.  There is something more alluring about clean-cut street magic.  The sleight-of-hand tricks performed in the opening scene were more impressive.  They were more modest, and sometimes simplicity is the most extraordinary way to wow an audience.  Too much flashy distracts. However, for this film, it fits in perfectly.  Magic and thievery is an interesting idea for a film, and I am pleased that the director of “The Incredible Hulk” and “Clash of the Titans” made a valiant and successful effort here. 

Although the ending to the movie was slightly predictable, the moments leading up to it on the silver screen were impressive.  The special effects were fabulous.  The action going on keeps the audience on their seats, and whenever the characters would explain what really happened as far as certain tricks go, a wave of “oooooh! I get it!” washed over the theatre. 

Anyone who enjoys the “Oceans” movies or “The Prestige” would enjoy this flick.  From what I’ve seen so far this summer, “Now You See Me” has been the most impressive.  However, the summer is still young.  The hunt for the ultimate summer blockbuster goes on. 

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