Film Review – Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me

Title – Now You See Me (2013)

Director – Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk)

Cast – Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent

Plot – 4 previously lone magicians, Daniel (Eisenberg) the hipster street performer, Merritt (Harrelson) the mind reader, Henley (Fisher) the escape artist and Jack (Franco) the struggling con artist are bought together by a mysterious person to perform the ultimate magic trick. This trick involves bank robbery’s that quickly escalate into something more which draws the attention of the CIA including agent Rhodes (Ruffalo), wealthy businessman Arthur Tressler (Caine) and magic debunker Thaddeus (Freeman).

“The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see.”

Review by Eddie on 2/09/2013

The only real magic trick that Now You See Me pulls off is not on screen but off screen. Launching to what can be described as mediocre reviews and what seemed like not much pre hype Now You See Me became the surprise hit of the summer both box office wise and audience wise. Nearing nearly 300 million dollars at the box office worldwide and holding a very respectable 7.4 rating on IMDB Now You See Me has coned people into thinking it’s a good film or perhaps it just didn’t conjure it’s illusion of greatness onto me and I am very wrong.

There are so many average things about Now You See Me that it’s hard to find a place to start but it may as well be it’s story. The story of Now You See Me wants you to think how cool and hip it is but really all it is is a bunch of ideas that upon reflection make little to absolutely no sense what so ever. One can almost imagine a board room meeting for the movie where executives and screenwriters just threw every idea they had into the film without ever really coming up with a serious or plausible explanation. It’s nice that a movie has big ideas coming at you left right and centre but don’t take us for complete suckers. Another problem that seems like a blaring observation is the wasting of a diverse and charismatic cast in amongst the overly busy story.

Without sounding overly petty the smarts of Eisenberg are wasted, the comedic touch of Harrelson wasted, the likeability of Fisher lost in a sea of lame “magic”, the stoic presence of Freeman wasted on an unlikeable old git, Caine’s old man greatness barely registering as a rich insurance tycoon and Ruffalo’s charm as a seemingly superhero CIA agent who seems to do everything by himself. What should have been cast fireworks is however nothing more than the flames of the movies disappearing money, a fleeting thing and charisma lost in the abundance of story strands. This happens due to the overwrought script as previously mentioned but also the direction of Leterrier must be scrutinised, he seems to think the more he sweeps the camera around the more energetic the film seems, no it’s just annoying!

Now You See Me is a wasted opportunity of a movie. It has a great cast and an unquestionably interesting central conceit which is wasted on a seriously forgettable and now overrated finished film. If people love this version of the movie just imagine how much they would of loved a good version of it! Seriously this is one magic trick that is scarily short of good acts and a reveal that makes you question if what you just watched was worth your time at all. Now there is nothing magic about that is there?

2 Isla Fisher’s in a bubble out of 5

23 responses to “Film Review – Now You See Me (2013)

      • I was really disappointed in the movie! I didn’t think most of it made sense and I did have high hopes because of the cast. Confusing ending I didn’t understand either!

  1. They definitely left out important parts in the plot that would have been a dead giveaway of the ending. And Isla and Lisps were throwaway cast members at that. I think the success in the film stems from the fact that it wasn’t quite as formulaic as some of the blockbusters. Enjoyed reading the review!

    • Yeh agree on that mate, at least it was not your typical city being destroyed blockbuster and obviously a very keen market out there for those magician flicks after the great Prestige and The Illusionist.

  2. Haha here here well put. It’s a shame cause I was really excited to watch it but after was left wondering how I could snap my fingers and make my $25 reappear in my wallet. That trick unfortunately didn’t work and neither did the film.

  3. I thought this film was decent popcorn entertainment, but I said some similar things in my review. Great cast that is wasted on so-so characters and a mediocre plot that moves way too fast. Good review.

  4. It felt like half the movie was missing. And the ‘magicians son’ twist just sucked. It really didn’t matter at that point, as I was already thoroughly disappointed in the movie at that point. The only reason I watched that far was because I was hoping the twist would be that it was actually a good movie all along.

    • Now that would of of been a twist to bring home the magic bacon – we thought for two hours we were watching a sick excuse for entertainment then “Wham” it’s actually a well written and believeable piece.

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  7. I totally agree. The whole movie was a little underwhelming…it was even more disappointing because the beginning when they were all magician hacks doing their own thing seemed like an intriguing opening…all downhill from there!

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