Now You See Me

“Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.” It couldn’t be said any more directly. This is one move that will have you trying to look closer, trying to figure out what it’s all about only to feel yourself slipping further away from the truth. Of all the movies that have come out this summer, “Now You See Me” is one that I actually wanted to see. It has actors I like, a mystery to solve, and above all else magic.

For a movie that many people I’ve talked to don’t seem to have heard about, this movie has quite a cast. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson (who were hilarious together in Zombieland) are joined by Ilsa Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and Dave Franco to form the Four Horsemen, a magic act that is the best in town, creating illusions unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. However, as these magic tricks include robbing a bank as the closing act, they soon catch the attention of the FBI. With Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), and Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) closely watching their every move, the Four Horsemen have to stay one step ahead to pull of their final heist.

The Four Horsemen (from IMDB)

The Four Horsemen (from IMDB)

With such a star-filled cast, you can only assume that the acting will be what we’ve all come to expect from these actor. I’m a big fan of Eisenberg’s quirkiness and Harrelson’s humor, and I was not disappointed by either. All four of the magicians brought their own sense of humor to their parts. Charisma is something that any good magician needs, and they all had it. On the other side of the trick, Caine’s tone and Freeman’s shroud of mystery gave their characters an effect that nicely offset the showy presentation given by the Four Horsemen. What was really great about the acting in this film was that it fit the tone of the movie.

The best thing for me about this film was the fact that I didn’t figure out the ending. I have a tendency to work out how movies are going to end about halfway through. But for the first time in a long time, I was unsure. Throughout the film, the FBI and Interpol are working to discover who is behind these illusions. Though I was able to rule out several possibilities along the way, I wasn’t able to pinpoint a definite mastermind to the plan. This was probably what made the film most enjoyable for me.

But, of course, what’s more enjoyable than magic? If you’re not a big fan of magic, or allowing yourself to fall for the illusion, then this might not be the movie for you. That being said, though, there is a lot of time devoted to explanations the art and science of creating magic tricks (without giving away how they are done, of course). It gives you an appreciation for the work that these entertainers put into their trade. But all that in mind, it’s the trick, the fact that our minds can believe the magic was real, that is the most satisfying.

Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg) conducts a magic trick on a New York City street in the opening scene of the movie. I encourage you to play along. This opener sets the mood for the rest of the movie, and will have you believing the illusion is real.

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