What it’s about: An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane
Review: Without a shadow of a doubt, the best film to have been released last year. I know the reviews for Now You See Me have probably been done and dusted by now but I just watched it for the second time and it’s still as exciting, mind-boggling and shocking as the first time around so I wanted to write this review for those of you who haven’t yet seen it. Now You See Me is about a group of magicians called the Four Horsemen who pull of the biggest trick known to the world of magic live on stage: they rob a bank. Two agents get put on the case to try and solve how they did it but this proves difficult even with the insights of a professional illusion exposer. It turns into a bizarre investigation with shocking twists, amazing illusions and a great truth that is above all, the most important part of the puzzle: The closer you look, the less you see.
This film is so clever and I take my metaphorical hat off to the guy who came up with this story. I’m a huge magic fan anyway so this film is right up my street (when I say magic I mean Derren Brown, Dynamo, David Blaine not Harry Potter! Although I am a fan of him too). The thing that I believe made this film work so well is the phenomenal cast. With a whole band of well-known actors, attractive faces and charismatic personalities including those of Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher and Jesse Eisenberg, what is there not to love? The main characters in the film, the Four Horsemen, consist of 4 magicians who specialise in different aspects of magic. Daniel Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg) – the slight of hand showman, Merritt McKinney (played by Woody Harrelson) – the mentalist, Henley Reeves (played by Isla fisher) – the escape artist and Jack Wilder (played by Dave Franco) – the street magician. They all have their place and there isn’t one unnecessary character throughout the whole film. The characters that stood out for me however were Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dylan Rhodes (played by Mark Ruffalo). Jesse Eisenberg plays an arrogant prick better than anyone else in Hollywood and it worked 100% for this character because although he’s arrogant and infuriating, he’s also extremely clever and sneaky and the whole façade is extremely charming (from a girl’s POV may I add!). Mark Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, the FBI agent who gets assigned to the case and his character is constantly getting led down wrong turns and dead-ends throughout the whole film and as amusing as it is, Ruffalo is fantastic at portraying the frustrated agent who wants nothing more than to bring these guys down. Isla Fisher plays Henley Reeves, escape artist and one of the Four Horsemen and although her role isn’t particularly huge, I think having a woman in with the mix brings a nice, and somewhat glamorous touch to the film.
Every once in a while a film will come along that will leave you completely speechless at the end and this was that film for me. Although most of the tricks they perform in the film aren’t actually do-able, they are based on concepts actual magicians would use today. Now You See Me’s magic consultant, David Kwong states in an article that, ‘They’re portrayed as the magicians of tomorrow’ and if that’s the case, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the world of magic. I could watch this film 10 times over and still be amazed and surprised and if you’re even a slight devotee of magic, then you’re in for a really fun ride. It’s fun, gasp-worthy and even somewhat humorous from beginning to end and with an outstanding cast and a jaw-dropping twist this is definitely one to watch.