Now You See Me (2013)

‘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.

Now You See Me

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.

Now You See Me - Dylan Rhodes

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

‘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.

Now You See Me - Jack Wilder

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’.

Scooby-Doo The Movie (2002)

The classic “let’s split up and look for clues” must be known by everyone in my opinion. All the infamous “jinkies” and calls for “Scooby Doo where are youuuuuu?” in all childhoods. Well, you can probably tell, it was definitely in mine.

From the great children’s programme, Scooby Doo and the gang are back in this 2002 film. As it links from the long-running TV programme, there had to be a film and it wasn’t a let-down. The actors are truly well chosen, all of them perfectly fitting in with the well-known TV programme. Of course, each character still has their own colour-coded outfits; but turned from cartoon to real life, except from Scooby. Green Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), orange Velma (Linda Cardellini), purple Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and blue Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr); similar and cleverly done, so familiar for all those who have previously watched the programmes.

Scooby Doo - Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, Fred, Scooby

The film throws you straight into a Mystery Incorporated mission, where their plan goes astray but they still manage to unmask the Luna Ghost. The audience figures out there seems to be tension within the detectives, as Velma quits the group, Daphne and Fred following after. Shaggy and Scooby left behind, two years passes and the true plot begins. An invitation sent to all the group but unknowingly, they all collide and meet up again at an airport, all travelling to Spooky Island. Which of course is somewhere where a problem needs solving and who better to ask than Mystery Inc, even if they have broken up. The dysfunctional gang try and solve clues in order to save the world from whatever evil is upon Spooky Island, but many things start to go wrong when they don’t work as a team and appreciate each person in the group; for example, Daphne is not always the damsel in distress and Fred needs to stop taking all the glory for Velma’s plans as she feels taken for granted.

Scooby Doo - airplane

New characters are introduced to this movie, Emile Mondavarious and Mary Jane, both well-known actors, who I think should be appreciated in the film; these two played by the brilliant Rowan Atkinson and Isla Fisher. These two add to the plot; Isla Fisher plays Shaggy’s crush in the film, someone who gets in-between Shaggy and Scooby, but not purposely, and Rowan Atkinson playing the owner of Spooky Island and the man who brought Mystery Inc back together.

Scooby Doo - Mondavarious

Some technological aspects of the film seem a bit fake, this is because it is a 2002 film. However I don’t think it affects the film at all, the effects are just not as good as they would be if they were done today, which is pretty obvious anyway. Although, for a 2002 film, Scooby, who is animated, is done well, the actors have worked round it significantly well, so you don’t watch the film focussing on that Scooby is not real; obviously you know he is, as he talks, can walk on his legs and it is animated, but it’s not badly done.

I found it difficult whether to put this film as a mystery or as a comedy. I chose mystery in the end because it is primarily the Scooby Doo gang trying to solve the mystery on Spooky Island. However, the film is full of comic elements, for children to laugh at throughout the whole film. I have to say, even though I’m above 18, I still do laugh at this film, just the ridiculous elements, for example the introduction of Emile Mondavarious, where he does a brilliant little growl to try and be spooky, so ridiculous and weird it’s just funny. There are also sarcastic comments, quite a few from Velma that are excellent. And also there is the ‘boyish’ children’s humour, most predominantly the burping and farting competition between Shaggy and Scooby.

This film is primarily a children’s film, well definitely is a children’s film. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good film! And because it is a children’s film, there is definitely a moral to the story. For starters, “friends don’t give up on each other”, this is shown through Shaggy and Scooby as they are best friends of all. Also, there is the moral for children to not only never give up on each other, but to work as a team and every player is important in achieving the goal.

Scooby Doo - Scooby and Shaggy

Overall, this is a classic children’s film that should be watched by all children. I think many would love it, I surely did when I was younger, still do now. So join the gang and search for clues, because it wouldn’t have been discovered it is “wasn’t for those meddling kids and their dumb dog”.

Happily, there is also the 2004 ‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’.