“Now You See Me”
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for Language, Some Action, and Sexual Content)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Date: May 31, 2013
I must begin this review with a confession: I love magic. When my husband and I talk about vacationing in Vegas one day, we don’t talk about drinking or gambling or any other form of Vegas debauchery, we talk about going to see Penn & Teller. I consider myself to be a very analytical person, and trying to figure out how a good magician pulls off a particularly clever illusion is an enjoyable challenge for me.
So it’s fair to say that “Now You See Me” is right up my alley, and it did not disappoint. The movie begins with four different magicians demonstrating their particular talents while being recruited by a mysterious person in a blue hoodie. They unite to become the Four Horsemen, and in their first show rob a bank in the middle of their act and distribute the stolen money to the audience. On the case are skeptical FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent, from “Inglorious Bastards”) and Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Thaddeus is a former magician turned professional illusion buster who makes a living exposing the secrets of famous magicians.
The robbery, however, is only the beginning. As the Four Horsemen continue towards their grand finale, the FBI and the audience are left trying to figure out what they are building towards, and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Like and good magical illusion, “Now You See Me” takes you on an adventure with so many twists and turns that it’s hard to keep up, but you’ll have fun trying. It’s entertaining, captivating and enjoyable with an ending that you’ll never see coming. It features compelling and charismatic performances by a strong cast, and holds your undivided attention all the way through. Though the special effects are occasionally distracting, and remind you that you are being fooled by computers instead of real people, the sense of wonder and awe that draws people to magic is definitely there.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best, and 10 being the worst again, I give it a 4 and an emoticon based sub ranking of, “Excited Winking Face”.