Saturday, June 1, 2013
Now You See Me 
CNS/USCCB (J. McAleer) review
RoberEbert.com (I. Vishnevetsky) review
AVClub.com (A.A. Dowd) review
Now You See Me  (directed by Louis Letterier, screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, story by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt) is a rather enjoyable summer caper about 4 young street level or otherwise "b-string" magicians: J. Daniel Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg) a self-assured card trick/misdirection expert, Henley Reeves (played by Isla Fisher) his former onstage assistant now escape artist in her own right, Merritt McKinney (played by Woody Harrelson) a "mentalist" specializing in hypnosis and "reading people's minds" and Jack Wilder (played by Dave Franco) a simple con artist who actually plays-up being a lousy "street magician" even as he pick-pockets those who "see through" his "poorly executed magic tricks" ;-). Each receive intriguing invitations (on personalized Tarot Cards) to participate in what amounts to a series of very public on stage Robin Hood-like heists (stealing from the rich to give to the poor).
The first of these heists involves "robbing a bank," in Paris, from a stage in Las Vegas. Impossible? Well at the end of the trick, actual Euro notes of various denominations are raining down from the vents on applauding crowd in Vegas while a carrel-full of nice freshly printed Euro notes really is missing from a previously assumed to be secure vault at one of the main banks in Paris ;-). What the heck happened? :-) Well both the FBI and French authorities want to know. And soon Las Vegas bureau FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (played by Mark Fuffalo) and Alma Dray (played by Mélanie Laurent) sent to the States by Interpol are on the case.
Besides the four previously "no-name," "b-string" or even "washed-up" magicians, now with the attention of the world upon them and calling themselves "The Four Horsemen," two other, older figures, begin to play prominent roles in the story. The first is an African-American showman named Thaddeus Braddley (played by Morgan Freeman) who had previously been a relatively successful on-stage magician before figuring out that he could make more money producing a syndicated online and perhaps cable-tv show "debunking" other magicians by explaining to viewers how seemingly "impossible tricks" are done. The second is Arthur Tressler (played by Michael Caine) a rich white man with more money than he knows what to do with who's enjoyed being promoter of high gloss stage productions. He doesn't know or particularly care to know how magic tricks work as long as they entertain. And after that Las Vegas stunt, the "Four Horsemen," have, well, certainly caught his attention ... ;-).
Much of course then ensues and it would kinda ruin the experience of the viewer to say much more except that good ole Thaddeus Braddley keeps reminding Agent Rhodes, who always seems to be more than a few steps behind the "Four Horsemen" in their tricks that "the closer you get, the less actually you see..."
Does it all work? Well you be the judges. But IMHO it's a fun story and it's clearly designed to allow for sequels if the "stars align" again in the future ... ;-)
<< NOTE - Do you like what you've been reading here? If you do then consider giving a small donation to this Blog (sugg. $6 _non-recurring_) _every so often_ to continue/further its operation. To donate just CLICK HERE. Thank you! :-) >>