Excerpt: Four magicians from different walks of life with different skill sets--J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder--are brought together as the Four Horsemen to stage elaborate magic shows together. For their first big show in Las Vegas, they send an audience member to a bank vault in Paris, stealing all its contents and distributing it to the audience.
Excerpt: A maxim repeated throughout Now You See Me , Louis Leterrier's latest dusting of cinematic fluff, is that watching a trick too closely is tantamount to allowing yourself to get fooled. As you examine the surface of the act for flaws, the magic is happening elsewhere. Where does that leave the viewer when a movie, despite its exhausting parade of bait-and-switch reversals, renders its final twist as transparent as the average George Oscar Bluth illusion?
Excerpt: I’ve always been somewhat taken by magic. I’m logical enough to know that it’s not really real, but I have to admit that some of the performers out there do make me second guess that belief. I’ve also enjoyed entertainers like Penn and Teller who can do some amazing things, but then tell you how they do it. And, as expected, it totally ruins that sort of trick from that point forward. The thing is, there’s really no such thing as magic.
Excerpt: The world of magic and magicians got its due from Hollywood in 2013 with three key releases. The first is the sublime Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay , a documentary about the titular up-close magic master. The second is, well, the nowhere-near sublime The Incredible Burt Wonderstone , a mess of a comedy starring Steve Carell ( Crazy, Stupid Love ).
Excerpt: Becoming a sub-genre unto themselves, Now You See Me joins a swell of, “financial bite back” films in the wake of real world economic crisis, speaking to audiences capsized by disproportionate wealth distribution. Here, snappily dressed magicians are lured to draw on Robin Hood principals with their expansive skills of deception. Stage acts close by dousing an audience in large bills, sourced from banks and uber rich citizens.
Conclusion: Now You See Me is crowd-pleaser whose ample appeal and entertainment value are easy to appreciate. The twists, turns, and thrills do not demand an excess of disbelief and the well-executed fun overshadows any minor concerns you may have. While a sequel sounds like a recipe for failure, let's hope it does not sully the name of this agreeable original caper.
Conclusion: Although it's not nearly as much fun the second time around, 'Now You See Me' is still an exciting rollercoaster ride of a movie that provides some top-notch entertainment. Enjoying the movie (especially during that second or third viewing) requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief, but most should find it worth their time and money. Recommended.
Conclusion: In my guise as a professional musician, I once performed upstage of a magician and therefore had a "backstage" view of the mechanics of his act, and I was both fascinated and kind of crestfallen by the workaday "secrets" this vantage point revealed. My advice to anyone coming to Now You See Me is to not follow the film's tagline and look closely at the plot machinations, because if you do, you'll soon discover they ultimately make little sense.
Excerpt: A great mystery weaves through the darkness with a certain momentum. It dodges left, cuts right, moves in all directions and then suddenly circles around and flips on the lights to reveal an intricately designed puzzle that’s not missing a single piece. As the credits role, it makes you believe there’s no other way the film could have accounted for the exact sequence of events, and it makes you want to rewatch to see how well everything holds up with your newfound...
Excerpt: “Magicians who pull off heists” might sound like a particularly desperate movie pitch, but there’s a certain cracked logic to it. Don’t both endeavors—the performance of a trick, the successful execution of a big score—require an element of misdirection? Isn’t there comparable pleasure to be had in peering behind the curtain of these wildly different vocations, of seeing how the masters of the two trades work their magic?