Just when we thought that we’re past the movies like The Illusionist and The Prestige, director Louis Leterrier hits the big screen with an amazing piece of movie that’s based around magical events in a logical sense. Yup, I got to say that because otherwise you would start comparing it with the Harry Potter Franchise.
Now You See Me will remind you of The Illusionist’s stories set in a modern world where FBI can get involved in a high-speed pursuit and a lot of destructions can take place. Eisenheim’s story revolves around love and revenge, so does Now You See Me’s, but in a different way with a lot of action and fun-to-watch stage performances set in Las Vegas.
The movie starts with separate introduction to all four magicians who essentially do all the tricks making you busy thinking how the hell they could’ve been possibly performed in a logical world. The starting gives out a clue that these four will be united by a mysterious person for something bigger. And within the first half of the first half, you begin to think that the big thing they were united for was the bank robbery.
But it is actually not.
The story moves forward with the FBI – with a tiny involvement from the Interpol – trying its best to figure out how someone can possibly break into a bank’s vault in Paris from Las Vegas in just three seconds. When the secret is uncovered, and it is quicker than you think it will be, it all starts to make sense. But the hide-and-seek just doesn’t start yet.
When the four magician, with their stage name Four Horsemen, announce and prepare for their next show with a promise to “do something big again”, the FBI gets into red alert and positions its agents and policemen in and out of the theater – much similar to what you see before the final performance of Eisenheim in The Illusionist.
However, the magicians do something big again, but this time, it’s beyond anyone could have thought of.
In the meantime, a second villain comes out – much like AXN’s Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed – but with a familiar face who makes more money by selling DVDs explaining how magic tricks are performed. He keeps his investigation with his camera crew to figure out how a magic trick is performed by the four horsemen. He’s also ahead of the FBI all the time while the four magicians perform its magic.
The chase to capture the four horsemen begins right after the second show. But the team continues its work towards one final big show which takes place towards the end of the film. You won’t still have the slightest idea of what exactly happened – and for the most part, why did that happen – when the final show is over. But just like The Illusionist, all tricks are explained at the end of the film, revealing that even the exploiter who had been ahead of the FBI to understand what’s being done was actually a few steps behind the magicians.
I loved how the film ended. Well, not the very ending shot, because that’s rather predictable. But how the film makes its final – and biggest twist – at the end. Of course, The Illusionist’s twist was that Eisenheim had all of it planned and his princess was well alive in another place. But in Now You See Me, you get two twists. One, how it all was done; and two, well, let’s keep it a secret for now!
The actors did an amazing performance at keeping the movie alive throughout its 2-hour runtime. Of course, the Eisenheim was more ‘classic’ in a ‘magician’ way, but none of the actors looked any less better in the way they talked and performed. The girl from the Interpol did look like a bit not so focused on her role, though. But I think it was because she was playing the role of a new interpol officer never before been in a field operation.
Stuff that turns down rating
There are a lot of things that are left unsaid in the films. It’s no secret that Hollywood flicks do this from time to time to leave the aftermath to viewers’ imagination. But this film is different. There are a lot of things that just don’t make sense.
I would avoid the factual errors this movie contains. I’m willing to avoid factual errors made in movies because they aren’t documentary films, they are intended for entertainment. But when an entertainment fails to entertain but rather leaves the viewer with a lot of questions and confusion, it becomes somewhat boring.
For example, there’s no point in the Interpol girl who’s actually a newbie sent out to help this mysterious case with FBI. Throughout the entire movie, I just felt like there was no need for her. The writers or the director just put her there to fill up the gap that was needed to have some romance in the film. Yes, she’s the only one that brings a little touch of romance to the film. But that wasn’t necessary. As said above, in addition to her poor performance, she essentially doesn’t have an important role in the story. She was more of a bargain.
There are more holes in the story line but I’m willing to sacrifice all of this. Because, at the end of the movie, I was entertained enough to believe that I just watched what could have been The Illusionist 2, but not nearly as perfect as The Illusionist.
If I were to rate this movie out of 5, I’d give it a 3.5. Part of the film feels mainstream, but for most of it, it’s full of fun, excitement, the thrill of the unexpected, and a burning desire to know not what’s next but what actually happened and how it could have possibly happened.
I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a film that’s not just worth the time, but also worth watching again and again.