Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fischer, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo. So, this is the best movie ever right? Sadly, it is one of the most mediocre, guilty-pleasure-esque type of films that has been made in a very, very long time. After the “four horsemen” are recruited by a mystery man to perform global magic shows to blow people’s minds, all hell breaks loose once they begin to use their magic illegally, robbing people of their money or other goods. This film tries way too hard to be smarter than you and it ends up becoming a blast to watch, for how dumb it becomes.
There is a line spoken in the film that explains to the audience how magic is just an illusion and the real trick is always happening away from where they are making you look. Clearly that sets up a big twist in the third act of the film, but the payoff is almost too dumb to take seriously. This film tries to build the suspense of the bigger picture as it progresses, but it ends up getting confused with itself, making for a laughable film overall. There are a few awesome sequences throughout this film, but in the end, “Now You See Me” is just another Hollywood film trying far too hard to impress it’s audiences.
Upon second and third viewings, I have come to appreciate the entertainment level of this film, but for all of the wrong reasons. This film is a blast to watch if you are in the mood to nit-pick storylines that believe themselves to be clever. “Now You See Me” is well shot, written well enough to enjoy watching these characters interact, and directed as well as can be expected from the director of films like the “Step Up” franchise. As far as positives go, there are only a few, but they really do elevate this material being presented.
The performers here are all committed to their roles, making the script much more believable than it really is, and the magic shows they put on are a delight to behold. The one setback about their shows is that it is clearly not any kind of magic that could have been accomplished if it was not in a film, which kind of defeats the purpose of creating an illusion for audience members. Overall, “Now You See Me” is a fine guilty pleasure of a film that I can recommend to those who do not want to think to hard while watching a film, or those who simply want a big budget hollywood film to gawk at.
Review By: KJ Proulx