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Now You See Me

Director: Louis Leterrier

Leterrier took an interesting and entertaining premise and turned it into a mess of a film. By far the best part of the film is the half hour of exposition we get at the beginning. Unfortunately all of the exposition we receive revolves around the magic and not the actual characters. This makes for an entertaining first third but leaves the film hollow later on when we have to care about stakes and relationships.

From the moment we see the hooded figure in the opening scene we know that we will receive a twist reveal. Two or three possibilities are not just subtly revealed through the narrative but on a couple of occasions are suggested to us straight up in dialogue. The reveal becomes incidental and not at all exciting. Whether you guess right or wrong on the twist what is easy to see is that many plot holes are revealed as soon as everything becomes clear. Sound like an oxymoron? Yes it is.

Now You See Me's other major issue is the wasted cast. This is not to say that there are not some good things happening. Harrelson in particular has some of the best moments in the film. However when I have Ruffalo, Freeman, and Eisenberg at my disposal every scene should resonate, and few do. In particular I felt Eisenberg was wasted. It was as if they took the worst traits from his previous characters and created one super annoying character. He is a jerk, and what is worse, as with most of the other elements of the film, we are given no reason as to why he is a jerk. Freeman and Ruffalo simply have poorly written characters. They are in a lot of the film but are given surprisingly little to do of any interest.

Everything in Now You See Me is underdeveloped except for the magic. So if magic in a movie setting is your bag go and enjoy. If you need more than that to sustain your interest for an entire film, stay away.