Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
A group of four street magicians get tapped to become the biggest magic act in the world by a secret benefactor in the clever and dynamic new movie Now You See Me. Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and WoodyHarrelson are barely making ends meet doing their magic to small crowds when they each get an invitation that brings them together and gives them the plans for a trilogy of world class illusions. One year later, re-branded as the Four Horseman, they brazenly stage a bank robbery during their show and shower their audience with the money. A combined FBI and Interpol taskforce led by Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) have no idea how to stop the Horseman before they put on their next illusion, so they enlist the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), who debunks magicians for a living. The Horseman are ramping up to a grand finale, but they must stay ahead of the police in order to pull off the trick of a lifetime.
I thought this movie was terrific. Fast, fun and clever are just the beginning of Now You See Me. The cast is incredibly smooth and charming and director Louis Leterrier imbues the film with flash and style. Jesse Eisenbergis quickly becoming one of my favorite actors and when he is put across from both Ruffalo and Harrelson the verbal sparring sizzles. Ruffalo and Laurent also connect really well on screen as you see their working relationship start to slowly become something more. The staging of the magic shows works beautifully on the big screen and makes you feel the spectacle.
The story is intelligent and the more layers that get peeled away the more you realize that you are looking in the wrong direction. Like any great magic trick, when you see the final reveal it is apparent that they have you fooled all along. My only negative is the fact that the film has three big action sequences, but the film stagnates at times in between them as it attempts to build its momentum. Also, I would have liked a little more romantic interplay between Eisenberg and Isla Fisher, because the movie hints at it a few times but never explores it in any real way. It isn’t often that a movie can throw a twist at me that I don’t see coming, but Now You See Me had me so riveted that the third act made my jaw hit the floor. It is one of my favorites so far this summer. A-
I had high expectations for Now You See Me, and it did not disappoint. The ensemble cast is very strong, and it was a delight to see them play off each other. I agree with Scott, and wish that certain relationships within the movie had been expanded because their chemistry was unmistakable. Mark Ruffalo was the stand-out for me. Ruffalo has a way of playing disheveled, weary cops with a growly persona that make his characters feel believable. His sense of justice and frustration as he gets out-smarted time and again keeps the momentum going. I found myself, like Ruffalo’s character, actively trying to work out the clues, analyze the scenes and solve the mystery along the way. For that reason, the twist at the end took me even more by surprise because I thought I had worked out all the possible answers to solve this caper film.
One thing I would have changed was extending the little reveals. The magic tricks are so inventive and fun I would have liked the mystery to last a little longer. Now You See Me is a fun way to spend two hours and I highly recommend seeing it. A-