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Now You See Me


Now You See Me is an expensive and elaborate adventure/fantasy that is so dazzling in its execution you almost don't notice all the red herrings and dangling plot points and find yourself victim to a story that consistently defies explanation and still rivets the viewer to the screen.

This 2013 film recounts the story of four second rate magicians and illusionists (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco) who are brought together by a mysterious benefactor (Michael Caine) and turned into an act called The Four Horseman, where we witness them rob a bank in Paris without ever leaving a Las Vegas stage. Throw in an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent) assigned to the case and a cable television star (Morgan Freeman) who lives to expose the secrets of magicians and you have most of the ingredients of a story that moves at a dizzying speed but never fails to entertain.

The screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, and Edward Ricourt serves the story and nothing else...it does not allow the viewer time to figure anything out and require complete attention. It's one of those intricately complex screenplays that if you leave the movie for five minutes without pausing the tape, when you return you will be totally confused. On the other hand, even with complete attention, there is a lot left unexplained here and what is explained demands more than a little patience from the viewer, but we're so dazzled by expensive location filming and dazzling magic effects, we almost forget that we're being kept dangling.

Louis Leterrier's direction is detailed just enough to keep the viewer riveted to the screen and curious about the ending. He has put together a wonderful all-star cast with standout work from Harrelson, Eisenberg, Freeman, and especially Ruffalo. The relationship between Ruffalo and Laurent's characters didn't really work for me, as Laurent just seemed to be miscast, but it was a minor distraction in a movie that had so much going on with it that was right I didn't have time to worry about what was wrong. The film is rambling and confusing at times, but I never took my eyes off the screen and never looked at my watch. And there's a sequel...can't wait.