Dir. Louis Leterrier
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“First rule of magic: always be the smartest person in the room.”
What if four street magicians – each with their own set of skills came together to form a ‘super group’ called The Four Horsemen -performing jaw-dropping impossible crimes as part of their show? And rather than keeping the money for themselves – they rain it down on the audience, becoming very very popular in the process!
The team are: Hotshot rising star J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), his former assistant turned escape artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), con artist Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson). They each get a mysterious invitation from a multi-millionaire insurance guru Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who offers to bankroll the Horsemen on a national series of high-profile gigs.
"the new UK bondage diving team practice session?"
Up against them are a joint FBI and Interpol team headed up by Agents Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) plus professional magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman).
But with the Horsemen seemingly able to pull off incredible feats of teleportation, mind control and other unfeasible acts – is this just a clever use of power of deception – or are there more arcane forces at work?
"4 amazing magicians. 3 impossible heists. 1 billion dollars. This is no illusion."
The magic is the main star of this show – thanks in no small amount to the wonder of CGI special effects, these guys can pull of tricks that would make Derren Brown and Dynamo jealous… Director Louis ‘The Transporter’ Leterrier delivers a fast paced and fun magical spin on the heist-em-up and he adds some cool more traditional action scenes including a nail biting car chase to the mix.
"look at the size of my bubbles"
Quite why the four magicians are prepared to risk everything by committing such audacious crimes in the full gaze of the public eye is at the crux of the film. Could it be that a fabled secret society of magicians called "The Eye" are somehow involved – and how does the death of magician 18 years ago fit into the crimes being carried out?
Now You See Me works for a wide range of audiences too – I took my sons aged 12 and 16 who were both impressed with the razzle-dazzle / sleight of hand on show. It might not go down in the cinematic annuals as a classic but if you want a disposable whiz-bang big scale magic show / crime caper – catch it before it disappears from your local cinema…
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see)...
Awesomeness öööö – big screen magic delivers
Laughs ööö – some comic touches
Horror ö – more tense than grim
Babes ööö – Fisher is still hot
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – don't believe everything you see
"Isla magician assistant"