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|Now You See Me|
dir Louis Leterrier
scr Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
prd Bobby Cohen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael J Kelly, Common, David Warshofsky, Jose Garcia
release US 31.May.13, UK 3.Jul.13
13/US Summit 1h56
Meet the masters: Fisher, Eisenberg, Harrelson and Franco
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Whizzy and fast-paced, this entertaining heist thriller carries us effortlessly through a mindless plot that's packed with twists and turns that aren't nearly as clever as they seem to be. And we're thoroughly entertained until the clanking preposterousness of it all is ultimately revealed in an ill-conceived grand finale.
Summoned by a mysterious figure, four magicians team up for a major Las Vegas show. Card expert Daniel (Eisenberg), hypnotist Merrit (Harrelson), escapologist Henley (Fisher) and street trickster Jack (Franco) stage an elaborate trick that takes millions of euros from a Paris bank and rains them down on the audience. This draws the attention of FBI Agent Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Interpol's Dray (Laurent), who avidly observe further anarchic stunts in New Orleans and New York. And both the show's backer (Tressler) and a famed debunker (Freeman) are caught in the illusion.
It's a lot of fun to watch this sharply well-played magical quartet mercilessly torment everyone around them, and Ruffalo, Freeman and Caine are all fine foils indeed, adding a snap of wit to every scene, especially as they think they're a step ahead but clearly aren't. Director Leterrier is playing the same trick on us, dazzling with witty, flashy touches to distract us from the fact that the overwrought plot doesn't hold together on any level.
The first two-thirds the plot is snappy and observant, as characters playfully taunt each other while indulging in the high life. Then the screenwriters shift the tone so drastically that the movie starts to feel like an elaborate con job. Digital trickery and gratuitous action strain to make the film spectacular, but leave it as realistic as a Road Runner cartoon. We simply can't believe anything we're watching, so why would we feel either suspense or sympathy?
By indulging in such obvious visual fakery, the whole thing becomes over-serious, corny and ultimately pointless. This is a shame because the early scenes promise a lot more fun. We only hang on until the end because the actors are so good at providing jaggedly funny details in between the clunky lines of dialog. Then when the final ridiculous rabbit is pulled from the convoluted plot, we laugh for all the wrong reasons.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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