HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Now You See Me That's Magic!Buy this film here.
Year: 2013
Director: Louis Letterier
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common, David Warshofsky, José Garcia, Jessica Lindsay, Catriona Balfe, Stephanie Honore
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Four magicians of humble origin: sleight of hand specialist Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), mind reader Merrit McKinney (Woody Harrelson), escape artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and pickpocket Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), are drawn together by an anonymous benefactor for a cryptic scheme. One year on, they headline Las Vegas as the Four Horsemen, big time stage illusionists backed by wealthy entrepreneur Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who climax their sold out show by seemingly robbing a bank in Paris, France for real. This draws the attention of dogged FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). Teaming with resourceful French interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent), Rhodes sets out to crack the case but is caught in a web of trickery and illusion, confounded at every turn by the wily magicians. Whereupon renowned magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) resolves to expose the Four Horsemen before they can pull off their final, most audacious heist.

More than one critic dismissed Now You See Me, in somewhat unkind and patronising fashion, as “The Prestige (2006) for dummies.” Granted, the film shares some things in common with that frankly muddled and self-important Christopher Nolan effort including the notable presence of Michael Caine along with fellow Nolan regular Morgan Freeman. More significantly, Now You See Me revisits the earlier movie’s central conceit of structuring its narrative along the lines of a magic trick. Co-writers Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Men in Black (1997)), Boaz Yakin (director of engaging sports drama Remember the Titans (2000) and the Jason Statham vehicle Safe (2012)) and Edward Ricourt craft a plot that is nine-tenths razzle-dazzle and misdirection before the final flourish.

Watching the film becomes tantamount to catching a grand show at Las Vegas. It is slick and shallow with characterisation paper-thin. Scrutinise events too closely and the whole trick falls apart. One can choose to be cynical and decry it as glitzy nonsense, but truth be told director Louis Letterier does a fantastic job enabling viewers to be caught up in the sheer thrill of it all. It is a good old fashioned caper flick, a throwback to an era of high style and frothy fun. At its most sublime, Now You See Me achieves the same giddy sense of wonderment that comes from witnessing an astonishing feat of sleight-of-hand. The problems stem from the fact there is not a whole lot more to the film than that.

Compensating for the lack of depth, the writers craft some delightfully snappy dialogue. It is often laugh-out-loud funny with the charismatic cast clearly relishing the chance to play. Woody Harrelson snags all the best lines whilst Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher prove an unexpected yet engaging screen pairing, though one area where Letterier drops the ball is in leaving their relationship undeveloped. Otherwise, he maintains a furious pace through a seemingly non-stop succession of breakneck chase sequences, often showcasing the same “free running” sequences that marked Transporter 2 (2005). Talented star-in-the-making Dave Franco steals the standout set-piece: a riotous fight scene involving disappearing tricks and playing cards flung as weapons that recalls a similar scene in John Woo’s oft-underrated Once a Thief (1991). The climactic reveal drew jeers from some quarters but proves satisfying on a narrative level concluding a lightweight but enjoyable, often deliciously fun ride.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1431 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: