During Harry Houdini's tour of Britain in 1926, the master escapologist enters into a passionate affair with a Scottish psychic. The psychic and her daughter attempt to con Houdini during a highly publicized séance to contact his mother whose death has haunted him for many years. However all does not go to plan... Written by
The opening scene reveals the partially built arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind Houdini as he is lifted to the surface of the water. Houdini died in 1926. Construction of the arches did not commence until 1928. See more »
[with Scottish accent]
When I was very small, I had a gift. I saw things other folk did nae see. It was like looking into deep water and seein' things on the other side. As I grew up, the gift vanished, just like my mam said it would. And I saw the world as it really was - with all its sweet lies and trickery. The the great Houdini came into our lives, and changed everything forever.
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This film is about a woman who works as a con artist trying to deceive Harry Houdini into believing that she has psychic powers.
"Death Defying Acts" sounds like an action movie, but the poster looks more like a romantic film. In fact it is neither. It is a slowly unfolding drama about how Mary attempts to con Harry, and how harry falls for her.
As Houdini is the greatest escape artist of all times, a film about him should have been exciting, thrilling and even death defying. However, this film has none of these attributes. The plot is slow, plain and not exciting at all. There is not much tension or drama to captivate me. I do not care about the characters, and whatever relationship they have between them. There is little chemistry between Guy Pearce and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Frankly, I think they are both miscast. Fortunately, Saoirse Ronan is delightful as the psychic sidekick. She is the one who save the film.
"Death Defying Acts" turns out to be a bore. I am quite disappointed by it.
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