Now You See Me (2013)
Directed by Louis Leterrier
You can just pick a movie, any movie…or you can foresee fun in your future with the magical “Now You See Me.” The three best summer blockbusters of the year…honestly, almost every great movie from 2013…has been rated PG-13. Crazy success for such a notoriously “soft” rating. Maybe we should get used to it.
The Four Horsemen, a magical troupe played by Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Woody Harrelson, are preparing for their earth-shattering final act, the one that will put them at the level of the world’s most popular magicians. But is the world of magic ready for this? Spoiler alert: no. When one of their tricks involves robbing a bank of millions, a detective (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent) team up to track these elusive geniuses down and stop them. They ask for help from a former magician turned magician-secret-revealer (Morgan Freeman), who is hoping to figure out how they’re pulling off this weeks-long trick as it’s happening. That’ll both spoil the Horsemen’s fun and give him tons of publicity. But can these tricky guys and gal be caught by ignorant cops? Can they beat them to the punch and have the greatest display of magic ever seen? No spoilers here.
“Now You See Me” is filled with some unreasonable feats of magic. Isla Fisher flies in a giant bubble, for instance. But most of the time, you see impressive and plausible stunts shown (mostly) in magical CGI effects. They all look pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that you eventually forget that they’re mostly done on computers. It’s all fantastic, but looks don’t make the movie.
I laughed more during “Now You See Me” than I did during the blockbuster “comedy” of the summer, “This Is The End.” Eisenberg and Harrelson, four years from “Zombieland,” trade hysterical jabs back and forth. The four, together, are a great team. But it’s not the actors that sold me, either.
It’s the edge-of-your-seat, breathtaking, throw-out-all-the-cliches story that got me hook, line and sinker. These magic-fueled plot twists would make David Copperfield scratch his head. Having an action-mystery involving magicians isn’t a new concept, but it’s a brilliant one to capitalize on. What better character types to utilize for thrills but illusionists and mentalists? The twist at the end is enough to make anyone laugh at the epicness of it. Maybe some of you won’t be surprised, but I was genuinely blinded by the final revelation. And this is definitely a big-screen movie. The sights and sounds get you curious, but the story keeps you glued to the screen. Sorry for the quickly-written, ineloquent review. It’s an urgent matter. This is an experience you just have to have.