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Four magicians each answer a mysterious summons to an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they are the Four Horsemen, big time stage illusionists who climax their sold out Las Vegas show with a bank apparently robbed for real. This puts agents Dylan Rhodes of the FBI and Alma Dray of Interpol on the case to find out how they did it. However, this mystery proves difficult to solve even with the insights of the professional illusion exposer, Thaddeus Bradley. What follows is a bizarre investigation where nothing is what it seems with illusions, dark secrets and hidden agendas galore as all involved are reminded of a great truth in this puzzle: the closer you look, the less you see. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About halfway through the closing credits a scene is shown where the four horsemen arrive in the desert at an abandoned, dilapidated amusement park in Las Vegas. Appears in both the Blu-Ray Edition and the iTunes Extended Cut. See more »
Like a Vegas Show, Entertaining but Lacking of Much Else
Imagine Now You See Me as Ocean's Eleven meets The Prestige and you sort of get what director Louis Leterrier was going for with this film. Is Now You See Me as successful as the aforementioned films? Not necessarily, but it's a fun movie that deconstructs the acts of modern magicians.
The story follows four Vegas magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, who rob a bank in the middle of one of their shows. What follows is a cat-and-mouse thriller where the FBI chases after these magicians, always one step behind, trying to figure out how they did it.
Where Now You See Me works best is when Leterrier creates cinematic sequences showing us how these magicians used real-life magic tricks to befuddle and dupe both their victims and the FBI. As well, if you want a film with twists and turns, this one will not disappoint. While most of the major twists can be found out before revealed, there is still a joy in watching those twists unfold, thanks to Leterrier's Sherlock Holmes' style of visual deduction. However, the script often falters in one of the most crucial areas, that of character.
Leterrier and company are constantly trying to balance the breakneck pace with the large cast of characters, and it just leaves the characters hanging out to dry. Character development is sorely lacking in Now You See Me, to where I never really cared about any of the characters. Part of this is because the film is constantly shifting points of view. The first thirty minutes follow our Robin Hood-like magicians, and then it switches to the FBI agents tracking them down, but then the film has the magicians constantly one step in front of the FBI to the point that it makes the FBI often come across as buffoons, and I find it hard to care for characters who are so easily fooled. Ultimately, I feel that had the film focused entirely on one set of characters, like the magicians or the FBI, the film would have been stronger and been easier to find a focal point, but as it is the film's core is often muddled.
While Now You See Me may not be a grand slam, it's still entertaining, thanks to the thrills and visual style of the film. Bottom line, if you're a fan of the heist genre, you'll like this movie. For me though, it just lacks a further script rewrite to have become one of the best examples of the genre.
I give Now You See Me an 8 out of 10!
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