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June 19, 2013

Movie: Now You See Me (2013)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:43 am

imagesAnother movie, like the Croods,  where the critics hated the flick but the audience loved the same thing. But, unlike the Croods, I am not with the audience on this one, and I will tell you why.

The movie is not bad in entertainment value but when a movie tries to give improbable twists with very little reason, just so that they can tell you ‘you will never guess the twist ending’ it irritates me more than fascinates me. This movie has twists for the sake of twists and sometimes this becomes a bit too much.

Now, let us see what the story is about. Four magicians, who are struggling but talented, are invited by a stranger whom they met mysteriously but individually, to the greatest challenge of their lives through intriguing tarot cards. Plenty of scope to entertain already, showing their magic prowess. (Chosen card illuminated on a building, minds guessed with astonishing accuracy and so on).  They are mysteriously informed of the plan in an empty building and form the group The Four Horsemen, which does the impossible: Teleports a (real and unsuspecting) audience member (not a plant) to Paris in real time; not just any place, but inside a secure vault of a large bank and sucks him and the money out in real time back to the stage!  To add insult to injury, the money is spewed out to the audience to take home!

Well, the FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo, in a convincing performance) is baffled, as is his uninvited French girl thrust as a partner – Interpol Agent Alma (played by Melanie Laurent).  The arrested magicians are almost arrogant since they know they cannot be held without proof of how this was done. Magic is not a crime, is it?

Theddus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) who is an ex magician who exposes other magician’s tricks nowadays, is not fooled at all. He figures out (we don’t know how he knew the details by just looking at it, recording the act – illegally – and thinking about it. Come on, really?) He warns Dylan that a bigger act is in the offing in the next performance. (How does he know? Who cares at this point?)

Alma talks about a rumour of a secret society called “The Eye” a kind of modern magical  Robin Hood, where they steal from the rich and give to the poor.

Not to spoil the “twist” ending, I will stop. But here are my impressions.

The story keeps you watching for two reasons – things keep moving, the magic tricks are improbable but interesting; you keep wondering how they did it, and when Theddus unravels each of these, you are interested, like a murder mystery ending, to see not whodunit but how they did it.  In addition, the twist ending for Theddus (no he is not behind the whole thing, do not worry – this is not a spoiler!) is kind of cute.

However, the ending is so improbable that you go ‘wait, what?’ and then when you look back, it is so contrived that you are kind of irked. Also, the romance seems to have been stuffed on all of it as an afterthought, and does not gel with the rest of the story.

Yes, if you want to keep your brains completely off for the duration, you will enjoy the ride but the format of the movie makes you think that this is a thinking man’s game. You could not be more wrong!

Well, since the movie has undeniable entertainment value, it gets a 5/10

— Krishna

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