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The Prestige

July 24th, 2015

The Prestige. Thriller. Christopher Nolan. 2006.

After a failed illusion ends up with the death of one of the two 19th century magicians' wives, they look to ruin each others career as much as possible in a battle for supremacy. As their feud escalates, they not only want to outwit each other... but destroy each other as well.

About a week ago, I sat down and at last watched the most hyped Christopher Nolan movie in Inception. Nolan had a great premise and executed amazingly... but I cannot say the same about this. I couldn't find anything I really loved about this movie and although it wasn't a terrible film by any means, it was very disappointing. It might not be the most popular movie from him, but is widely regarded as one of his best. The fact that it is on IMDB's top 250 as #52 should say enough, but I really didn't think this was anything special like his other movies including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, or even Inception.

To start off, I thought Christian Bale didn't stand out at all in his performance unlike close to everything I have seen from him. Hugh Jackman seemed impress me more, but still didn't have an outstanding performance. It really seemed like at times they had to rely on the chemistry between the two that just didn't work for me. The biggest let-down performance had to be Rebecca Hall playing as the wife to Alfred (Bale). She just seemed bland and unimpressive, basically the exact opposite of what I saw from her in The Town. I will say though, Scarlett Johansson easily had the best performance and a huge surprise to me as I haven't really liked her performance in any of her other movies (other than L.I.T. somewhat).

Before watching, everything about this movie screamed ME! I always enjoyed magic, and surprisingly liked Now You See Me which is another movie about magicians. It started off on a pretty high note, but it seemed to get a lot less interesting once I got closer and closer to finishing it. The build up to the ending was decent, but the ending itself was so obvious to me and I think Nolan could have done a much better job concealing it. Another high point would be the premise. Two 19th century magicians who look to one up each other? That's pretty interesting to say the least. To top that off it also involves two pretty respected actors and one happens to be one of my favorites in the business in Christian Bale.

The film could have been done much better, and I'd say that it is my least favorite Christopher Nolan film even including The Dark Knight Rises. Even with the plot holes that are brought up way too often I found it really enjoyable and unlike this movie I could probably watch it a lot more often. I hope that this is the worst from him, because he's been touted as one of the most prestigious directors of this generation. I will probably watch this again once I finish all of Nolan's films but I am pretty certain that I will enjoy all of the rest more than this.