Now Playing: ‘See’ Worthy

Mixing parts of ‘The Illusionist’, ‘The Prestige’ and a healthy dose of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, director Louis Leterrier’s ‘Now You See Me’ is a heist movie involving four magicians. The illusions in the film are over-the-top but incredible, and despite the film’s flaws, its super fast pace helps its problems vanish from memory. With an all-star cast and decent dialogue, this magical caper might be one of the summer’s biggest surprises.

Getting things started quickly, we’re individually introduced to our four magicians: J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), a cocky sleight-of-hand illusionist who could put David Copperfield to shame; Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), a beautiful escape artist who can slip out of a glass box full of hungry piranhas; Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), a hilarious and quick-witted hypnotist; and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), who’s basically the equivalent of Matt Damon’s role in the ‘Ocean’s’ movies, a terrifyingly good pickpocket.

All four characters are first brought together by an unknown person to pull off a high-tech illusion. Fast forward to their first heist. Now dubbed the Four Horsemen, the team somehow manages to rob a bank in Paris, France while live on stage in Las Vegas, then makes the arena rain with cash over their audience. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is hell-bent on taking down this band of thieves with the help of Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent), who seems to have a few secrets of her own. On top that come Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a television personality famous for debunking magic tricks, and Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), the financier for the Four Horsemen.

These characters move quickly from state to state performing shows that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators. Meanwhile, several law enforcement agencies track their every move and Bradley tries to cash in on their mistakes. A car chase and a decent fight scene later, the film climaxes in New York with a twist ending that would put M. Night Shyamalan to shame. I can’t wait to watch this movie again to see if I missed any hints to the twist along the way.

The illusions are such an unbelievable spectacle that you have to watch the movie with a childlike sense of wonder and fascination. Much like the audiences seen in the film, you too will turn to putty in the Four Horsemen’s hands. This incredibly fast-paced movie succeeds with fun banter between the actors. It’s like a ‘Zombieland’ reunion with Harrelson and Eisenberg, and a ‘Dark Knight’ homecoming for Freeman and Caine, complete with witty insults and threats. It’s a real treat.

‘Now You See Me’ is one hell of a fun movie and definitely invites a second viewing. I don’t think this will win any awards, and maybe it has a few issues here and there, but as quickly as this picture moves, you won’t pay attention to the problems, because there’s a bigger surprise up its sleeve.

Rating: ★★★★☆


  1. William Henley

    I was really impressed with this movie. Probably one of the best written stories in years. It didn’t insult the audience, the dialouge was well written, it was well directed and acted, and it was just a fun movie.

    As for a second viewing, I am not sure how well the movie will hold up. Most of the fun of this movie was not knowing what was going on. But it is for sure worth a first viewing.

  2. VIOZ

    Saying that there will be a twist ending counts as a spoiler, by the way: you just became that annoying friend who already saw the movie and foreshadows everything that’s going to happen: “Oh look, this part is good” “This next part is so funny… listen…” “Hey, pay attention to this part. You’ll know why later…” It didn’t add anything to the review, so you should be more careful next time.

    • William Henley

      In this movie, I don’t think it’s a spoiler. The movie builds in such a way that you don’t know how it could possibly end, so pretty much any ending would be a surprise.

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