Rant and Rave: ‘Now You See Me’

Image courtesy of Lionsgate Films

Delve into the mystical realm of magic and immerse yourself in all its wondrous glory. This crime and thriller film impeccably incorporated the splendid technique of con artists and magicians; A battle royale of ego and wit.

The plot revolves around a cluster of marvelous, cream of the crop con artists called “The Four Horsemen”: street magician Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Psychic-mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Daniel’s former assistant Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and young aberrant Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), whose antics and tricks are constantly played out on a grand scale. From mass hypnotism, to explosive fire magic tricks, even grand bank heists, these so called magicians have triggered more than a mere commotion, alerting the police, and the FBI hooking them on and making them guess their every step.  Seemingly masters in the craft of illusion and deception, they certainly got the police wrapped around their fingers, and created immense tension for the audience anticipating their next ostentatious move and scheme.

Their actions connote grand scale criminal activity by robbing even their millionaire supporters, making viewers question who these thieves are working for. There revolves a lot of mystery surrounding their purpose and goals; the art of misdirection indeed baffles viewers with much unsettling confusion. There is always a nagging question and the need to divulge and investigate; who really is behind all of this?

Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a prominent magician, claims to be an expert at exposing deceptive magicians earning a lot of his profit from here. Here he images himself as the all-knowing magic buster, always smug with his neutrality and knowledge, but will magic in fact be his downfall?

A classic theme found in the film is the cat-and-mouse chase; expect a lot of action, fast-paced combat, rapid exchanges of blows and fisticuff and a huge amount of “magic tricks” up their sleeves. Running out of ploys has never been a problem, and the horsemen in fact enjoy the delicious thrill of danger and risk.

Overall, Now You See Me is a highly enjoyable film with transitions from scene to scene averagely smooth, never a dull moment and cleverly crafted to make the viewers captivated and conceivably evokes a sense of wonder and bewilderment at the plentiful tricks conducted and executed. Despite this, the four horsemen arguably did not have enough character development, making them flat, static plain personas. Moreover, the film redeems itself through a simply magnetic cast, and manipulation at its finest.

Throw in a dash of romance in it as the French Belle Interpol and American FBI agent tandem induces some sort of cheesiness, perhaps to add more of a light hearted feel to the movie, or perhaps simply as another ruse with which to distract the viewers.

The magic obviously is impossible, but to a certain extent confounds the audience leaving them with a desire and thirst for more. Impressive fight scenes provide incredible visuals along with the assistance of special effects such as a great blend of acrobatic skill from Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). Somehow, this film can bring forth the kid in everyone and leaves them breathless with the heart-racing action and awe-inspiring magic.

“The trick is not to see to closely, but to look at the bigger picture.”

It’s one of those films that make you think and ponder until its end and conclusion, as can be told from the above phrase vastly and numerously used throughout the movie. There is a need to keep up and be several steps ahead of the tricks, as the audience and viewers can catch themselves trying to outsmart the film itself and its trickery; definitely a film to keep you on the edge of your seat. It also foreshadows a lot of events, which supply and present possible clues but still leave viewers trying to string together the given sketchy amount of information.

Conversation among the characters and the script comprise of witty comebacks and smart-alecky talk. Abundant jokes and numerous innuendos are certainly depicted and scattered throughout the film, and there is a healthy dash of comedy in it, in no way making the viewers experience an unexciting second.

Rating: 3.0
Mia Baguisi

By Mia Baguisi

Leave a Reply