I love watching heists and capers. I also love watching magic shows. Therefore it is only logical that I will love “Now You See Me”. Right? Do you sense a big “but” coming? Well, at this point let me say that I was immensely entertained by the film. I had a really good time as the film’s plot turned and twisted to a crowd-pleasing conclusion. I was genuinely delighted as each member of the good-looking (hello, Dave Franco, younger brother of James) cast played their parts gleefully.
The film is very stylish–the camera work alone will cause motion sickness to the vulnerable and the combinations of physical and CGI shots remind me of Louis Letterier’s first film (Transporter). The magic tricks defied logic and physics, and these escalated after every set-piece that of the film ended with that scene in the carousel–implying that the four horsemen were indeed wizards–would have made sense.
At times, the film felt like “Ocean’s Eleven” for the younger set and “The Prestige” with less gravitas. Some parts echo the ‘occupy wall street’ social mobiization that rocked the States a while back (which was earlier echoed in “The Dark Knight Rises”). It’s exceedingly clever, especially in the parts that attempt to make sense. The banter between the characters of Eisenberg (Daniel Atlas) and Harrelson (Merritt McKinney) will remind you of the best banters on the best TV sitcoms. Consider this:
McKinney: I like you.
Atlas: I’m touched.
McKinney: It’s from the heart.
Atlas: Well, I didn’t tell you where I was touched.
I cannot reiterate enough how entertaining this film is. It is an almost magical confluence of style, lush photography, gaudy art direction, effortless acting, clever dialogue, and extravagant action set-pieces that capture one’s rapt attention. If only it weren’t so deliberate and arbitrary at the same time. Nevertheless, you will ignore the fact that some parts of the story just didn’t make sense, or that its ridiculousness was at times too much. Or that at it’s core, it’s just a revenge movie.
Everything else is just smoke and mirrors.
Daniel Atlas said, “First rule of magic: always be the smartest person in the room.”
I think he was referring to most of us in the cinema.