In Case You Missed It: Now You See Me

In a movie season that is usually dominated by superheroes (and now the Fast & Furious franchise), one film conjures up a new-type of superhero—four of them actually. The Four Horsemen serve as modern-day Robin Hoods in the magical caper Now You See Me.

In the film’s opening sequence, the audience is introduced to J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), a cocky card shark, wisecracking mentalist Merrit McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), a hot Houdini who parties with piranhas and the crafty, criminal Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). Each are summoned by a mysterious, hooded figure by way of some foreshadowing tarot cards where the chance to join forces and pull off the ultimate illusion awaits them.

Now You See Me Official Trailer #2 (2013) - Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman Movie

Fast-forward a year and The Four Horsemen are performing their first show with all the razzle-dazzle Las Vegas has to offer. For the show-stopping closer, the group selects an audience members and promises to rob their bank. Right in from of the audiences’ eyes, a Parisian is transported to his bank in France and within minutes euros are raining down in the audience. You’re sitting there wondering how’d they do that?

Enter Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a once-magician who found debunking the secrets of others more profitable. Bradley is hot on the trail of The Four Horsemen and part of the film’s allure is finding out just exactly how they pulled it off, so you’ll have to see it to figure it out.

After their first act, The Four Horsemen are rabidly popular—not only with a sold-out crowd at their next show in New Orleans but with the authorities, namely FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent).

New Orleans sets the scene for The Four Horsemen’s second (and best) act, and while they know the tricks, they are just as oblivious as audience members as to why they staging these shows/heists. Believing it will grant them to some secret order of magicians (The Eye), they work together blindly to the big reveal.

The film boasts an Oceans 11-esque cast which also includes Michael Caine. Some of the film's best moments are Caine and Freeman's flip-flopping friendship. Eisenberg scores with his Zuckerberg-inspired performance, Harrelson razzles as usual with a witty and wicked sense of humor (albeit a momentary lapse of sensitivity in a trans referenced joke) and Fisher dazzles; only Franco seems out of place until he whips out some matrix-like playing card defense moves.

While the film’s third act (and final trick) seem a bit over-the-top and impossible, it’s only the contrived romance between Rhodes and Dray that fails to please. Since neither one of the law enforcement agents may be what they seem, the film would’ve been more suspenseful if they'd found a successful way to play that storyline. Ultimately, some audience members may see the twist coming, some may not but either way Now You See Me is a savvy summer film that will leave audiences not believing their eyes.

photo credit: Summit Entertainment

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