I saw the trailer for Now You See Me a few weeks ago. It was the first time I had heard of the film. The trailer appeared, I decided to see the film and I saw it.
This is how the cinema cycle is supposed to work. The preview for Now You See Me wasn’t in the trailer rotation for six months prior to the release date. As I wasn’t sick of it due to over playing I was excited to see the film.
Local cinema please learn from this.
PLOT: Daniel, (Jesse Eisenberg) Merritt, (Woody Harrelson) Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco) are four street magicians who team up after receiving an invitation from a secret society known as The Eye. After The Four Horsemen pull off several bank heists as part of their magic show Agents Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Dray (Melanie Laurent) set out to catch them. END PLOT
I like a good heist movie as much as the next person and although Now You See Me handles this aspect fairly well I don’t think you will have to look too hard to find holes in the plot. A tighter script would have made the film as clever as it already thought it was. The weakness of the story didn’t hamper my enjoyment, it just meant that the film couldn’t rise above standard summer fluff.
The film just about got away with the final twist without me giving a snort of incredulity but turning the mysterious Eye and the tarot cards into something almost mystical just didn’t work. Now You See Me ended on an “until next time” note so I expect this to be developed more in the sequel. If the Fast and Furious series can get seven films, fuck it; let’s turn this into a franchise too. Franchises for all and all for Franchises!
The script had some problems but unfortunately the balance of screen time wasn’t right either. The opening section focused on the initial heist however the true lead is Mark Ruffalo's Rhodes as the film then switches to his investigation and the Horsemen are almost forgotten about. This is a shocking waste and is the films biggest fault.
Everyone knows how strong the chemistry is between Eisenberg and Harrelson but Isla Fisher more than holds her own. These three Horsemen are the stars of the show and the film’s most noticeable dips came when they were not on screen. Dave Franco is the fourth Horsemen but I can’t warm to him. I feel like Franco is one slow drawl away from rolling his eyes at me – every time he speaks I feel patronised. Luckily his role was minimal.
More of this was needed.
Ruffalo becomes the films surprise lead and he is as likeable as ever. His scenes with Eisenberg are the best in the film and it's a shame that there were not more of them.
Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman pop up in small roles and help to give the cast list an ever bigger A List feel to it but neither are slumming it.
The film is slick and given a double helping of Hollywood’s gloss. It looked gorgeous. The set pieces are impressive and I enjoyed watching Bradley (Morgan Freeman) revealing how the tricks were performed.
Now You See Me managed to over explain the heists and final twist yet left too many unanswered questions about The Eye. I blame the length of 115mins (IMDB) for this as the film had too much time to mundanely ramble (yep, I refused to delete this). The running time needed trimming and I want to re-edit the film to fix the balance issues.
Now You See Me isn’t perfect by any means but it had enough charm to see it through. It gets an 8/10. This is possibly slightly higher than it deserves but the potential is there. I expect better from a sequel I thoroughly hope it gets.