Now You See Me (2013), starring Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Mélanie Laurent, Dave Franco
Synopsis of Now You See Me
Now You See Me pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against “The Four Horsemen. They’re a super-team of the world’s greatest illusionists. “The Four Horsemen” pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances. They then shower the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law. But is there more at play here?
Review of Now You See Me
In short, Now You See Me is a heist movie. It deals with four magicians, who are pulling multi-million dollars thefts – and giving away the money. They’re being pursued by an FBI team lead by Mark Ruffalo. There’s a twist at the ending, which I have to admit was totally unsurprising. While watching, I mentioned to my daughter that either his character is in on the heist, or the most inept FBI agent of all time.
He’s aided in the pursuit by “magician insider” Morgan Freeman, and with an Interpol agent played by Mélanie Laurent. He ignores her expertise at every opportunity, discards her recommendations, and … by the end, they’re in love. For absolutely no reason, with no romance. It’s one of the least favorite parts of the movie for me.
That’s not to dismiss the movie — there are very good performances all around. Michael Caine shines as the corrupt millionaire that the foursome rip off. And there’s an absolutely brilliant scene on a plane, where he thinks they’re failing at a mentalism routine. Later, it’s revealed that there’s an excellent reason why they failed — and it’s brilliant.
Editorial review of Now You See Me courtesy of Amazon.com
Cinematic sleight of hand and digital prestidigitation drive Now You See Me, a slick popcorn movie about four magicians coming together to pull off a heist and maybe right a wrong at the same time. Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco play the Four Horsemen, who each have their individual skills (Harrelson is a master hypnotist, for example) but have combined to put on an amazing show in Vegas–a show that culminates in robbing a French bank. The authorities don’t know how they did it, but an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds) start tracking the Four Horsemen as they prepare a second performance in New Orleans.
A professional skeptic (Morgan Freeman), however, suggests that these performances are only the preamble to a much bigger trick, and that maybe the Four Horsemen themselves are misdirection. The excellent cast (which also includes Michael Caine) and the unrelenting pace give Now You See Me the illusion of sense and coherence, and the movie can be fun if you surrender to it.
Don’t think too hard about the illusions themselves; the real fun of magic is not being able to figure out how it’s done, whereas we know exactly how the “magic” in Now You See Me works: editing and CGI special effects. Even the few tricks that are supposedly explained fall apart with a moment’s thought–they wouldn’t actually work. The most compelling element of the movie is the developing romance between Ruffalo and Laurent, two charming actors who know how to let emotion simmer under the surface. That’s a different–and much more enticing–kind of magic. –Bret Fetzer