Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Film Review: Now You See Me

About the film
Now You See Me is a thriller film that was released at the cinema in the UK on 3rd July 2013. The film has a run time of 115 minutes and it is rated 12A.

After receiving a mysterious summons, four magicians arrive to a strange address in New York and find a room full of secrets. A year later, they’re working together as The Four Horsemen, stage illusionists about to perform to a sold out venue in Las Vegas. The big part of their show is that they apparently robbed a French bank for real, showering their audience with millions of Euros. With a trick that big, and a crime committed, the show gets the attention of the FBI and Interpol and Dylan Rhodes and Alma Vargas are assigned to the case. With The Four Horsemen constantly one step ahead, Thaddeus Bradley, a magician who reveals how big tricks are done, also becomes involved.

As the investigation continues there is one illusion after another and it becomes clear that the closer you look, the less you see!

What I thought
Now You See Me was one of the films that I have been most looking forward to seeing this year. As soon as I saw the trailer, I was desperate to see it. I haven’t seen a film that looked anything like this and because of how different it looked, I wanted to see it even more.

The film begins by showing us the lives of what will be The Four Horsemen. Either a street magician, an escapist or a mentalist, each of the four have special skills which are needed for a secret reason. Within a couple of days of each other, the four characters receive a card with an address on although no further information. On the date specified, the four arrive at the mysterious location and realise that they’re being hired for something bigger than any of them could have ever imagined. Then, we skip to a year later and The Four Horsemen are just about to perform in Las Vegas together, claiming that they can rob a bank. The beginning of the film is very exciting and is filled with fantastic magic tricks and illusions, although these are nothing compared to what comes later in the film.

The first big trick we see is that of The Four Horsemen apparently robbing a bank in France during their show. Part of the plot of this film concerns the tricks being done and the FBI and Interpol attempting to figure out how they’re done, especially because robbing a bank is a crime. This brings in something more than just magic into the film and makes it a race against time and a huge mystery to solve. If the magic and illusions weren’t exciting enough, there is the FBI trying to figure everything out as well. I absolutely loved the plot in Now You See Me. The trailers made the film look different and exciting and that’s exactly what it is. There are things happening all over the damn place over the whole 115 minutes of the film.

One big aspect of the film is trying to figure out how magic tricks and illusions are done and I absolutely loved this. Not only are the FBI trying to figure out what is going on, but so was I as an audience member. Throughout, it is said that the closer you look, the less you see and that’s exactly true. You could have been sat right up next to the screen and still not be able to see how tricks were done. One of the biggest aspects of the magic for me was the mentalism stuff, mainly because of how much I love Derren Brown and the things he does. Thankfully though, some secrets are revealed throughout the film but at the end, there are still plenty of unanswered questions which leaves it perfectly open for a sequel which has been confirmed now.

Cast wise, Now You See Me gets even better. Starring as The Four Horsemen are Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniell Atlas, Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves and Dave Franco as Jack Wilder. I couldn’t have been more impressed with this bunch. Eisenberg sheds his geeky image from The Social Network and is now a sexy, cool and interesting magician. Isla Fisher brings some sex appeal to the show with her skimpy “assistant” looking outfits while Dave Franco’s character Jack has street smarts and Woody Harrelson plays a mentalist. The four work extremely well together and as characters with varying personalities. They bounce off of each other at times, have some great and funny banter but most importantly, they work well together to get the job done.

As The Four Horsemen are a young bunch, we have some older actors to even things out a bit. Mark Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, FBI agent assigned to the case. He’s ruthless throughout the film and desperately wants to find out what is going on. He’s a bit of an angry man and definitely does not believe in magic so is very dubious about what The Four Horsemen are doing. Then we have Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, an ex-magician who reveals the secrets of tricks for a living. What I loved about this character is that he’s so straight with everyone and tells them that they’re looking too closely but will they listen? No, of course not.

So, overall, Now You See Me was one of my favourite films this year. It is amazing to look at in regards to the magic being done but it is also so exciting. Add in a bloody awesome cast and you can’t really go wrong. 

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