Monday, August 5, 2013

Theater Review: Now You See Me

I put up a small poll on my Facebook page to see what film I was seeing when I was able to get out of work early one night. The choices were Now You See Me and This is the End.

With an overwhelming, and somewhat surprising, difference in the outcome - Now You See Me won pretty easily.

So, off I went. And by the time I was seeing it, I was one of the few people in the theater - which I love.

Now You See Me is pretty much right up my alley, so I was happy to see it. I am a huge fan of films like Ocean's Eleven that have heists committed, and then give you how its done and the reason behind the heist itself. In this film, though, instead of costumes and disguises - magic is used and everyone know who is committing the crimes, but just can't seem to prove that they are.

The film stars an unlikely quartet as the Four Horsemen. Jesse Eisenberg plays J. Daniel Atlas, and is probably the most talented magician of the bunch - and he plays a little different than his usual quirky roles he has played in the past in say Social Network. He is actually sort of playing a stud - which was nice to see him play something different, and I came away liking him a little bit more.

Isla Fisher plays Henley Reeves, Atlas' former assistant who has now branched out on her own and is now more of an escape artist, ala Harry Houdini. She is also very talented, and I think we need more of her in films. Woody Harrelson plays Merritt McKinney, who is more of a mentalist than a magician. Harrelson has become one of my favorite actors over the years, he always seems to do an amazing job.

The surprise of the movie - Dave Franco. Franco plays Jack Wilder, a street magician who uses slight of hand to pretty much rob those around him. Franco sort of sticks out as not really belonging in this group of actors - sure maybe his brother James would fit in, but Dave? But, honestly, he was a standout to me. He was probably my favorite person in the movie.

So, the Four Horsemae are brought together by a bunch of Tarot cards and an unknown benefactor. They join forces to put on a handful of shows, which are sponsored by an insurance tycoon Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine).

Their show, though, doesn't just entertain the audience - it makes them wealthy. By robbing from a bank and showering the money out into the audience. But, how did they do it?

With more shows in the future, the authorities believe this will continue and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) are put on the case to figure out how it was done so they can pin it on the Four Horsemen.

They also bring in Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a former magician who now makes money revealing the secrets of other magicians' tricks. It's Bradley that Rhodes and Dray are hoping can figure out how the robberies are taking place.

I cam away really loving this movie. It had a lot of what I love, a great heist, great execution, action and a lot of comedy. Though, some forced love occurred as well - something that always seems to happen in these films. There was no real reason for it, but it didn't take away from anything.

The acting was top-notch, Caine, Freeman and Ruffalo are all outstanding actors. The lowest tiered actor was Franco, and as I said before, he stoodout to me in this film.

There are some twists and turns as well, some of which I figured out during, but it didn't take away from the overall movie. Looking forward to seeing it again.


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