‘NOW YOU SEE ME’ (2013)

September 26, 2013 Rissi JC 8 Comments

Any movie that is about a group of people pulling off a caper is one that I’ll see at some point; especially given how well I’ve enjoyed movies such as The Italian Job. Add in a dash of magic to polish the image and I’m bound to be “in” – if nothing else, a good night’s worth of entertainment is involved.  

Now You See Me (2013) Film Review

Someone with a carefully concealed identity pulls together four street magicians for the purpose of pulling off a con with a resolution no one can guess. A year after the mysterious summons that brings the four people together, now known as The Four Horseman, play sold out shows. The illusionists are Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Merrit McKinney (Woody Harrelson). On their final night in Las Vegas, the foursome robs a bank, all while on stage.

This puts them on the FBI’s most wanted list and in the crosshairs of FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent). It’s time to put their plans in motion, all while trying to remain one step ahead of the authorities.

‘NOW YOU SEE ME’ (2013). A group of four magician's pull together an elaborate con that puts them on the FBI's radar. Text © Rissi JC

Anyone who enjoys the Ocean’s 11 movies or something akin to that trilogy will probably call all the good twists and turns long before Now You See Me rolls its credits. I don’t even try to think and instead let this be a fun, lighthearted escapist flick; it abides by those rules and aspires to be no more. Let’s start with the cast. This is an ensemble that really is not “traditional”; I have to say, everyone works well together. Isla adds some sparkling personality (much like she does in Confessions of a Shopaholic) and I like Harrelson’s dry humor.

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I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying this script isn’t all that clever. There’s throwbacks to the various films that come before, and though I don’t know that any doo it “better,” there is a classy sense of “style” here. All of which is because this has a slick stage presence and some “fun” illusions. All of the staging for these events is high-tech and awesome though the movie’s greatest asset may also be a failing. I like how the film brings the four protagonists together. It creates mystery and makes us second-guess everyone around them. All the same, the story seems slow-going at first.

Skipping ahead an entire year before the party really gets going is a smart jump, it’s just that ultimately what the script lacks traces back to a lack of good characters. At least there isn’t many characters to sympathize with, something that its competition has (case in point being an earlier reference to The Italian Job).

Now You See Me isn’t a bad way to spend a couple of hours at all. There are some interesting conversations and perspectives on magic; it’s just there’s a disconnect in the script’s feeling “warm” or totally connected to its characters. Still, it’s a movie I’ll be likely to re-watch again. It’s a particularly satisfying flick for one of those rainy afternoons. Just don’t overthink it too much.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Now you See Me digitally on Amazon Video

CONTENT: some minor profanities is present [sh*t, h*ll, d*mn, plus misuses of God’s name] and there may be one use of the f-word. There are several sexual innuendoes and some crude comments. As part of their acts, the magicians lie and fake death; Henley does one particularly “daring” act that briefly implies she is getting eaten by a flesh-eating fish [the tank fills red with blood], there is also a “tense” car chase sequence. The film is PG13

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com September 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Doesn't sound great. I admit, I think I'm drawn to it because a female is one of the lead illusionist. Thanks for your honest review.

    • Rissi September 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Hey, Juju. It was "good," it's just these concepts have all been done time and again. If you think hard enough, the "twist" is obvious. That being said, I'll rent it again and did love the cast – Isla is a fun personality. :)

  • Lizzie September 26, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would from the trailer, but it was definitely pretty enjoyable! I'm not sure that I would enjoy watching it as much a second time, knowing the twist makes it a little less exciting.

    • Rissi September 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      …I totally know what you mean, Lizzie. I'd watch it again same as I have The Italian Job (I've watched that one several times) or the Ocean's trilogy. However, since the "excitement" has deflated, there isn't that same level of mystery. I have to agree.

      Glad you enjoyed it – I did too! :)

  • Sarah September 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    They really did seem to try hard with this movie, and the big mysterious twist ending made it really stand out, but then I thought the twist was ultimately the downfall as well. Still, I enjoyed this one too, and I agree, it had a fun style to it. Good review!

    • Rissi September 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      I liked it, Sarah, really I did. It was fun in an "escapist flick" kind of way (and is probably one I'll even watch again) but it failed royally with its characters – we learned basically NOTHING about them. As a girl who values good character development, that was a disappointment.

      Thanks for reading! :)

  • Raquel October 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I wanna see this movie sooo bad! My big bro watched it and said it was really good.

    • Rissi October 3, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Awesome! Hope you enjoy it, Raquel – have your brother watch it again with you. :)

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