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An average movie

Posted : 3 years, 4 months ago on 9 October 2015 06:59

Since I kept hearing some interesting things about this flick, I was quite eager to check it out. Indeed, it managed to be a decent box-office success, even though it wasn't about some super-heros or some established brand and it wasn't a reboot, a sequel or a remake. In short, it was an original idea and it managed to make some money which is something really rare nowadays. Anyway, eventually, even though I have to admit that it was indeed cute and fun, I can't say it really impressed me though. First of all, the main issue with movies dealing with illusionists is that movies are already a complete illusion, especially with the current domination of the CGI technology. Basically, you can show pretty much anything on the silver screen so it is rather difficult to show an illusion and claim that you have displayed something truly unbelievable. It was pretty obvious in this case. Indeed, the first trick in Las Vegas did work because even though it was far-fetched, it seemed doable. However, everything that happened afterwards was rather ridiculous, even after they tried to explain it. On top of that, it didn't help that the magic stuff was combined with a rather murky plot which barely made sense. Still, if you stop analysing the story, there were a whole  bunch of decent actors involved and it was fairly entertaining so I have to admit that it is actually worth a look. 

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The Biggest Deception of the Summer

Posted : 3 years, 9 months ago on 23 May 2015 02:42

An entertaining, albeit barely believable, first half gets almost forgotten as we are forced to believe Mark Ruffalo's acting and the finale's ridiculous twist.

Somehow this became a breakout hit, which I was happy with before I had a chance to see it, as it was up against obnoxious action blockbusters; but in the end it was more deceptive than any other film I had a chance to see in the summer of 2013, because it looked good...

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A nice surprise

Posted : 4 years, 6 months ago on 2 August 2014 02:14

'Now You See Me' was a nice surprise in my opinion. The action scenes are too weird but the cast is great, the plot is clever and the script is funny. I also loved seeing Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine with big parts reuniting after 'The Dark Knight'. Better than some of the junk in 2013.

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Review of Now You See Me

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 19 January 2014 10:19

Now You See Me is reminiscent of a magic act I once saw. The magician was very funny, and he frequently had me laughing and smiling quite widely. Alas, the "magic" portion of his act was a bit weak. I would have been very happy to have seen this magician devote his entire stage-time on comedy, but seeing as he was- in fact- a magician, he was inclined to perform some magic. Now You See Me is the same way. The comedy works, and it's a lot of fun at times. But it ultimately falls short when it tries to incorporate the twists and tricks that would be expected of a film like this.

Four independent magicians are called together by an unknown person to pull of a caper of magnificent proportions. The caper takes place over the course of three performances, and they all end in the audience receiving massive amounts of money from various sources. As a result, the FBI is attempting to crack down on the magicians, while repeatedly being made a fool of.

So at first, Now You See Me sounds like a light comedy/caper film. But that's only part of it. The comedy works very well, and there are definitely some laughs to be had. The chemistry between the magicians is often entertaining, and there are definitely some clever lines.

Alas, the film falters when it wants to be more than a comedy. What seems to be the whole point of the film, is discovering who is behind the entire caper, and what will happen when the job is finished. And to what purpose? These questions are answered in the twist ending which, frankly, is incredibly weak.

Granted, it's not predictable. I'll admit that the ending surprised me. But it's just not a good twist, and it's hard to explain why without spoilers. The main issue is that it's just unsatisfying, and it's not thought out. It seems that the makers of this film merely decided to choose an ending that would seem the most surprising to audience members, without it really changing the preceding events.

The fact that the whole film is supposed to be a sort of build-up to the end makes the twist all the more disappointing. But the ending is made even worse by the fact that it's padded out in a way that seems almost conceited. The filmmakers are clearly reveling in their own genius at the end of the film, but the twist is so lacking in said genius that the ending is just one big egotistical flop.

And even the rest of the film, while rarely dull, is heavily flawed. The four magicians, for instance, are only partially developed. J. Daniel Atlas' personality doesn't go beyond having a bit of an ego (he's essentially the Tony Stark of a magician's version of SHIELD). Merritt McKinney is the most entertaining of the four, being a clever, but mischievous psychic. The other two magicians- Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder- have no personality at all. The former of which is actually entirely unnecessary to the story.

I'm not even kidding- Henley does not impact the story in any way, shape, or form. The movie would not be any different if she was not in the film, and that's a clear problem. Jack Wilder, on the other hand, is merely a plot device. The only reason Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder are in this film, is to complete the four-magician group. During one bit at the beginning, the film seems to be even acknowledging the weakness of these two characters by writing them completely out of a scene where all four magicians are interrogated by the police. We see J. Daniel and Merritt questioned, but not Henley or Jack.

And I should also point out one of my least favorite things to see in films aimed at audiences 13 and up: Childish humor! This film has it all; cartoon-ish villains (those wascally magicians are always one step ahead), slapstick, a hypnotic spell that causes victims to become passionate violinists, and one man has an blunt object thrown at his crotch. Granted, the latter three elements are relatively brief, but they don't need to be here at all in a film that's PG-13, and therefore aiming at teens and up.

The cast is filled with big names, and while the performances aren't great (undoubtedly hindered by the mediocre script), they suffice. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are the standouts from the main cast. Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo (as the FBI agent assigned to investigate the caper) are very weak in their roles, but not terrible. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are predictably solid in supporting roles.

The score, composed by Brian Tyler, has a definite personality and a distinctive feel that makes it easy to identify and associate it with the film. And yet, there isn't a single moment in the film where the music especially stood out or impressed me. It works for the film, but it's hard to say how it would fare as a solo listening experience.

The comedy mostly works (except for any of the physical comedy/slap stick), but the film is empty. With the exception of the ending, Now You See Me is entirely predictable. The film clearly thinks it's smarter than it really is, which hurts the film a lot (especially during the far too drawn-out ending). If this film had just settled for being a simple comedy/caper in the vein of the Ocean's movies, Now You See Me would've been a fun time. But the predictable twists, botched ending, and weak characters bog the film down. It's tempting to make a pun about "not seeing" a movie called Now You See Me, but I'll pass for the sake of good taste.

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Now You See Me review

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 27 December 2013 09:39

I really don't want to make this a long review so I wont. The cast was amazing but everything else fell short don't get me wrong i still enjoyed the movie while watching it but i just didn't feel the magic and the whole twist at the end was laughable i seen that half way through but hey i guess it tricked my friend. Overall i give it a 6.0 the cast is the only thing that makes this film re-watchable it's also are getting another unnecessary Hollywood sequel.

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A decent blockbuster but nothing magical

Posted : 5 years, 4 months ago on 2 October 2013 10:17

I watched this movie yesterday on DVD and I thought it was decent enough to warrant a short review. "Now You See Me" is one of those films with an interesting-enough premise and a large-enough cast that is definitely worth watching at least once. This is one of the films that is decent enough to be enjoyed in theaters but it is more worth it to just wait the few months until the DVD is released and just rent it. As said, the premise is pretty interesting basically mixing "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Prestige" by having big-time magicians using their illusions and tricks to perform bank heists. This film definitely showcases an all-star that came from recently popular projects: Mark Zuckerberg, Tallahassee, The Tooth Fairy, Harry Osborne's Brother, The Hulk III, Alfred, and God. That being said, this is the kind of film that is best to turn your brain off. While trying to provide complex techniques, mysterious plot elements, and story twists, it also showcases major plot-holes and overall convoluted decisions. "Now You See Me" is an enjoyably decent blockbuster film that is definitely worth watching on DVD but it's nothing magical.

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Now You See Me review

Posted : 5 years, 5 months ago on 9 September 2013 12:40

Everyone has been saying how great this movie was on twitter and facebook and well 1st hour of this movie is really great but as 2nd hr starts, things fall apart. You see, it has great camera angles, amazing cinematic effects and vfx but it all falls apart when it pulls "red lights (2012)" on you. Seriously, what a disappointment.

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Definitely watchable, but flawed

Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 22 August 2013 12:34

"The closer you think you are, the less you'll actually see."

Although it aspires to be a smart blockbuster, Now You See Me is a very surface-level experience, with director Louis Leterrier using attractive, polished visuals to compensate for a slipshod script. Unlike 2013's other major magician picture, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, this effort is more seriously-minded, placing magicians within a twisty investigate thriller tailor-made for the summer season. The result is not a complicated, mentally-stimulating heist picture like Ocean's Eleven, but rather a Hollywood extravaganza. While it's disappointing that the film falls short of its potential, it is intensely fun and fascinating as it unfolds, making it worth at least a mild recommendation.

Four magicians - sleight-of-hand master Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), mentalist Merritt (Woody Harrelson), escape artist Henley (Isla Fisher) and pickpocket Jack (Dave Franco) - are united by an unseen entity, who tasks them with mastering an elaborate arena show. One year later, "The Four Horseman" put on their first show, in which they ostensibly rob a bank using magic. Investigating the audacious stunt is F.B.I. Agent Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), who's paired with Interpol Agent Dray (Mélanie Laurent) to bring down the group of illusionists, remaining hot on their tail at every turn. Also interested in the Four Horseman is wily magic debunker Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman), who's out to reveal how the gang are pulling off their tricks. Meanwhile, the Four Horseman become a smashing success overnight, looking to perform further shows to mesmerised, sold-out crowds as they ready themselves for their final plan of attack.

Without much in the way of smarts, Now You See Me is more about cheap thrills and blockbuster escapism, with writers Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt even inserting superfluous chases in a bid to compensate for the film's emptiness. This may be a picture about magic, but it's more concerned with movie magic; the tricks are all pulled off with CGI and cinematic trickery, rather than sleight-of-hand mastery. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone actually contained a few magic tricks pulled off in-camera, devised by illusionist David Copperfield, but no such content exists here. Admittedly, however, the Four Horseman's first show is a slam dunk, with Leterrier nailing the sense of wonder that a magic-oriented film should be able to deliver. Unfortunately, Leterrier and his crew were apparently operating under the impression that the audience is more interested in noise than awe, leading to silly action beats and further magic shows that are surprisingly humdrum. As a result, Now You See Me is unable to recapture the brilliance of its its first act. Even the Horseman's final show is a dud; it's meant to be a showstopper, but it's riddled with CGI that only detracts from the experience. No sense of wonder is felt.

It pretty much comes with the territory, but Now You See Me suffers due to lack of compelling characters. The Four Horseman apparently have no lives outside of their profession, as the script treats them as plot pawns with absolutely no dimension. Since they are more or less the bad guys, and the film wants us to root for the magicians, it would've been beneficial if we were able to get to know them on a more profound level. Moreover, there's a completely ill-considered attempt to develop a romance between Rhodes and Dray, which makes no sense since the characters are strangers who know nothing about one another. Worse, it's very underdeveloped, as if the studio demanded for a romantic note to be wedged into the story, coherency be damned.

Now You See Me is undeniably terrible from a script aspect, hence it's fortunate that the movie was brought to life with flawless technical specs. It's junk food cinema pulled off with genuine style; Leterrier creates dazzling eye candy throughout, and had enough money at his disposal to keep the movie brisk and competent enough to distract us from how misjudged the entire screenplay truly is. Summer movies often lean on shaky-cam and fast cutting, but Leterrier avoids this pitfall, using an array of sturdy shots to capture the silly action beats. Better, the acting is strong right down the line. Now You See Me is carried by quite an impressive ensemble, all of whom are terrific despite their superficial roles. The standouts, easily, are Eisenberg and Harrelson; both are cocksure and fast-talking, and it's entertaining to watch them run their mouths. Seasoned veterans Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are also predictably good. Freeman is especially engaging (no surprise at all), and watching him dissect magic tricks makes for dynamite cinema.

I will credit Now You See Me with one script-related strength: the twist ending is brilliant. Signs do initially seem to point to a very predictable twist, but the ending defied my expectations, and I was actually surprised. Nevertheless, there are some big leaps of logic here that are a tad challenging to overlook. David Fincher's The Game likewise featured a handful of absurd contrivances, but it had thematic resonance and a gratifying character arc. Now You See Me, on the other hand, lacks the thoughtfulness to become something of any substance. Instead, it's like a Las Vegas magic show - entertaining and executed with panache, but nothing lasting or memorable. The title is derived from the old magician saying "Now you see it, now you don't," which also accurately describes the fleeting memory of watching Now You See Me. How appropriate.


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Dazzling visuals, with a few minor plot holes

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 9 June 2013 03:41

Now You See Me is a summer film that builds up suspense with grand illusions and some fun trickery, but perhaps making the big twist a little more unpredictable would have been much more suspenseful and fulfilling.

The Four Horsemen (Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson and Franco) are brought together by an unknown horse and hit it big when during the final act of their show they rob a bank all the way in Paris, France while performing in Vegas. This gets the attention of the FBI and Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is assigned to the case. As the Horsemen promise more two more shows and even bigger rewards, the FBI must try and remain one step ahead of the magicians.

Lead by an incredibly talented cast, Now You See Me is a fun action adventure right from the start. The illusions are grand, creating a suspenseful feel to a slowly becomes a thriller film. Eisenberg is fantastic as the fast talking, arrogant and self righteous Daniel Atlas, the ringleader of this group of magicians. Eisenberg uses his signature style of speaking, but this time he shows his range by acting more arrogant then nervous. Harrelson plays the mentalist of the group, who uses his ability to read people and play them in any situation to his own advantage. Franco is the smooth criminal type of the group, the quick on his feet card shark type who knows how to get out a jam. Last but certainly not least of the four main leads is the vixen and female David Copperfield Henley Reeves played by the lovely Isla Fisher. She was incredible, her performance right up there with some of her more notable ones. When you make these four incredible actors share the screen and action sequences, there is plenty of room for fun and excitement.

The problem with Now You See Me is not in the acting department, it is in the writing one. With Act One, probably the most solidly written elaborate heist plot in a long time, Act 2 decides to follow suit with an even more intriguing revenge plot. Unfortunately that leaves little room for Act 3 to outdo the first two and so screenwriters Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt decide to make it just another movie that becomes a typical thriller, by creating a chase scene that results in the grandest of endings but never really means anything because by this point too many hints have been dropped and too much is actually happening that you begin to lose interest in anything but the magic happening on screen. The rest of it is a boring lacklustre investigative film, coupled with a cheesy romance subplot that results in one the most not so shocking reveals.

When you lose the investment in a cast like this, you know something has been done wrong. This one falls primarily with the writers, because director Louis Leterrier created one of this year’s most jaw dropping films. The visuals, the set pieces, the action scenes were all so grandiose and magnificent it was one of the few things that kept this movie solidly entertaining from start to finish. When the film is always trying to play mind tricks on its audience, the biggest one to figure out should be the final pay-off of whodunit.

In a 2013 that so far seems to be heading in the right direction, Now You See Me is definitely one of the most enjoyable films so far despite the flaws it does have. They are unavoidable but if you can deal with them, you will find yourself invested in the characters and the overall plot.

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