Clever Execution and Magical Fun

Now You see Me

                Abra Kadabra my friends, and like magic another weekend is upon us and another round of movies.  This week I start my reviews off with a Crime/Thriller that chooses to use stage performance, illusion, and trickery to pull of the heist.  That’s right I’m reviewing Now You See Me, a movie that promises to be magical, just not Lord of the Lings Magic.  So put away your wands and spell books, and get out your deck of cards as I give my two cents on this movie.

Let’s get right into some of my likes for this movie.  First off has to be the clever plot/execution of this movie.  Now we have seen plenty of crime movies over the last decade that use the same stale plot of a highly skilled team pulling of an impossible task of bringing a corrupt man to justice.   Now you see me takes that stale plot and reconstructs into something that seems fresh and new.  Instead of an elite band of mercenaries, we have four misfits who practice different tricks of the magic trade.  They are pulled together by some mastermind who opens the door with a rather shady invite and a year later the adventure starts as the Four Horsemen are forged.  Cue the Vegas scene, made famous in the trailer, where the audience, both fiction and real, are dazzled by an elaborate show where the eyes are fooled by the sleight of hand.  Only rather than making a simple toy appear, the result is money robbed from a bank from a city miles away.  This allows me to transition into another aspect of the movie, the design of the tricks.  In this film, the tricks were planned out, every detail intricately laced into a heist that is both intense and impressive.  While there are some classic magic tricks done, pick a card and making rabbits disappear, there are some rather unique tricks that, although are a bit fake and farfetched, are creative enough to wow me.  Even more impressive to this reviewer, was the fact that the tricks somehow were linked to the overall plan, which again deserves a round of applause for how much planning, went into this movie.

Another trend you might notice in other crime movies, is that nine times out of ten the police force are either ignorant or idiots.  Well good news, they still are, but this time there is a little more ingenuity to some of their force.  Led by Mark Ruffalo, the police actually have their wits about them and attempt to learn from their mistakes as they fall into a few traps laid out by the Four Horsemen.  Ruffalo and company not only bring on the opposing force to the Horsemen, but also provide an opening for other characters to enter into the movie, often to explain how the tricks work.  You heard me right, the magicians’ secrets are revealed in this movie, but done so to help tie together the loose ends left behind after an exciting chase scene/ fight scene.  How could this explanation get any better?  Simple bring on Morgan Freeman whose voice not only mesmerized me but also allowed a great character to enter into the fray and add more diversity and story into this film.  With this in mind, if you don’t want to find out how the connections fit you need to either leave the theater at points in the movie, or avoid seeing it altogether.  Bottom line the movie is connected and all the characters are involved in some form or manner.

So with a bunch of characters you may wonder how the acting is in this movie.  In a nutshell most of the actors are playing the same roles we’ve seen in other filmsJesse Eisenberg still plays the arrogant jerk, who is incredibly clever and gifted, and insults everyone else.  For some reason though I do like his character in this movie, as the attitude does a great job for pulling off some tricks.  Isla Fisher is still bubbly, but this time she isn’t some shallow air head who only cares about sex and shopping.  Freeman is still as calm and collected, and provides plenty of laughs and facts to keep the movie entertaining and interesting.  Ruffalo has a good balanced character, providing laughs, action, and some driving points to the story as well; he just doesn’t turn green this time.  My favorite actor of the night though is Woody Harrelson, who has plenty of laughs, lots of tricks, and a great source of entertainment.  Overall there are really no surprises when it comes to acting, I enjoyed all of them and I am sure you will find someone to latch onto in this movie.

This movie is definitely a fun summer movie with creativity bursting at every seam.  Yes the plot is fairly predictable, and I do agree the plot is a bit old.  Yet this movie has many good things about it that makes it worthy of taking a trip to the theater.  It is exciting, with a plethora of chase scenes and fight scenes to keep the pace going.  Although some of the mystery is ruined by Freeman’s deductive reasoning, there are still some underlying secrets that keep you intrigued into the movie, like who the mastermind is and what are the motives for pulling off the pranks.  Yes there is a bit of cheesiness in the plot, and some of the stunts they pull are again a bit farfetched that some people may roll their eyes, but for those who like a lot of imagination and clever execution, this movie is for you.

So what do I give this movie?  My scores are

Crime/Thriller 8.0

Movie Overall: 8.0-8.5

 

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