Now You See Me
This review first appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, 4th August 2013
A terrific cast of magicians, each with his or her own forte, a zingy script and a story that moves at the speed of light – like a magic trick itself, Now You See Me promises much in the build-up, boasting all the elements of a rollicking good film.
Look behind the smoke and mirrors and you may realise there is absolutely no character development and the plot possibly has a few holes… But you don’t want to look too hard, because this film is entertainment with a capital M.
Four illusionists (perhaps a more accurate term) are enticed into a game of They Don’t Know What by They Don’t Know Who. But being adventurous egotists at the top of their respective games, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg (reunited from Zombieland), Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby) and Dave Franco (forging his own path out of the shadow of brother James) embrace the opportunity to fool the world. Putting on hi-fi magic shows in Vegas, they are ostensibly under the patronage of Michael Caine’s millionaire, Arthur Tressler. But who’s really behind all this larking about?
The rendering of the magic acts is sensational, all spinning camerawork and souring music – overblown but undeniably fun and exciting. If anything, the starry cast is there to dazzle us into not noticing the feeble plot. An exotic Melanie Laurent joins the typically shambolic Mark Ruffalo, while Morgan Freeman just looks to be having as much fun as the name Thaddeus Bradley suggests.
Directed by the bloke who brought you The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans, the film is a bit of a cheap trick but it’s refreshingly gangster-free and at least there’s only one car chase.