‘Now You See Me’ is most predominantly a magic film. And one of the best going. You have to understand if you don’t like magic, you will hate this film. Personally, I love a magic film, it’s not supernatural, but things that can be explained by logic, as it is the magic of deception and tricks. The first thing to remember is the “first rule of magic, always be the smartest guy in the room”.
‘Now You See Me’ is a brilliant film that hooks you right from the beginning and makes you wonder what is going on and who are the ones to trust. And if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, who doesn’t love a film with the classics, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine? In fact, all the actors are great, obviously brilliantly acted but just well-known actors as well, well many of them are known in the films that I watch anyway.
You are introduced to all of the magicians even before the title, introduced all separately in their own lives. These four best magicians are all chosen by a mysterious hooded figure, also known as The Eye. Three men and one woman. The big-headed, slightly arrogant Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliantly clever mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), the one and only girl Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and the young street-wise Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). They all join together under the instructions of The Eye, unknown whether if it is legit, yet they create the Four Horsemen. Their first trick together, a year after being brought together, they rob a bank, turning their magic a bit more dangerous and connected to criminal activity. Therefore, bringing in Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) from the FBI, and Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) from Interpol.
The film is split into the three acts of the magic show the Four Horsemen play a part in. But also, there are about four different plots on at the same time, they all revolve around the Four Horsemen and their three act show, but they are all different characters that are important to key parts and you follow each of them in different parts of the film. This is cleverly done as they all overlap in the film, but it makes the audience less in the know to what is happening. There’s of course, the Four Horsemen themselves, where you watch their shows from their side; then most of the film following the FBI and how they are constantly misled by misdirection. Then there’s the exposer, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), the ex-magician, whose life is taken over my uncovering magicians secrets; his new target, of course, the Four Horsemen. Finally, there is the smaller aspect which is the benefactor of the Four Horsemen, the money behind all the shows, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), who becomes involved involuntary in one of the magic acts. But overall, it is cleverly done and doesn’t become confusing for the audience even if there are lots of things going on at once, the audience is meant to be left astounded by what has happened, just like the magicians want. As Daniel Atlas says himself “come in close, closer, because the more you think you see, the easier it will be to fool you”.
‘Now You See Me’ is an amazing film that covers many aspects for it to be a good film. There are comical aspects; however, the film is not a comedy, but I find Merritt is a comical character, he is probably one of the best played in his comments and actions. There is also some action in the film, an extensive fight scene, but instead against an FBI agent and a magician, to throw in surprises and make it more difficult for the Horseman to be caught; also there is a very dangerous car chase. But most of all the film is manipulated by the aspect of magic, the audience in unknown to who they are supposed to trust and the ending is unpredictable, yet, brilliant. Although, you are still left wondering after the film has finished how things unravelled; of course most questions are answered, but not all of them, making you just want to watch another film leading onwards.
This film is a 12, there is the occasional swearing, but other than that I wouldn’t say it’s inappropriate for younger ages. The plot isn’t confusing, it’s just a cleverly done plot including magic in a form of mystery for the film.
I would 100% recommend this film. The first time watching is the best because the ending is so unexpected, however, watching it again, like I have lots of times, it still isn’t ruined, somehow knowing how things are going to turn out doesn’t ruin it and it still is a great film. So I would definitely recommend; and the clue is to not look close, but in my opinion you’ll be fooled either way, especially for the first time.
Thankfully, they even did a second film, ‘Now You See Me 2’.