Now You See Me – Movie Review (Spoiler Free / No Spoilers)

So this past week-end I went to the movies again. Now you see me. But the thing is I went to a movie I didn’t have high expectations of. Now you don’t.

So it’s all about magic, illusionism and fun. Also money, and heists. It’s kind of like Ocean’s Eleven with David Copperfield and Houdini. Of course, we don’t have eleven magicians here, but only four: Jesse Eisenberg as Daniel Atlas, Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves and Dave Franco as Jack Wilder. Yes, the last one is the little brother of James Franco, and he’s pretty good.

Other notable appearances are Michael Caine as Arthur Tessler, the billionaire financing The Four Horsemen (the name of the Magicians’ group), Mark Rufallo as Dylan Rhodes, the FBI agent trying to nail them and put them in jail, and Morgan Freeman as God… woops… I meant Thaddeus Bradley, the guy trying to expose them as frauds, who makes money out of exposing magicians, and also has his own documentary. Yes, you guessed right, we get to hear Morgan Freeman narrate a documentary about magicians. 🙂

The movie was directed by Louis Lettier, the guy that gave us The Transporter 1 & 2, Clash Of The Titans (I didn’t watch this one) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). Pop Culture Diva told me she thought this was funny, because in some way he got to make a movie with the second Hulk as well – Mark Rufallo, who played The Hulk in the Avengers sequel.

The script was written by Boaz Yakin (most notable work as a writer was the 1989 Dolph Lundgren “Punisher” movie, but did a lot of work as a Director also, “Safe” being the first example that comes to mind) and Edward Ricourt (this guy is new in the business, at his first major job here, and I think he’s definitely going to put this on his CV. 🙂

Producers were Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and I don’t think I have to say anything more (although I’ll obviously do): Hercules – The Legendary Journeys, Xena – Warrior Princess, Alias, Fringe, the two new Star Treks, the Hawaii Five-0 reboot, Transformers Prime, Ender’s Game. They also co-wrote the script for the 2005 Ewan McGregor movie “The Island”. So there’s plenty to go for here. Now, I don’t know how much they actually worked on this one, but since they were listed as producers and not executive producers, that tells us they at least had some say at some point. Executive Producers are usually there just with the name, like J.J. Abrams on Person of Interest or Spielberg on Terra Nova.

The movie had plenty of plot-action, meaning it was full of twists and turns, not of explosions and bullets, how some people may be tempted to believe. There was, indeed, one explosion, but it had a purpose and it wasn’t just for show. So big props on this area.

All the characters were good to some extent, but the best were by far Woody Harrelson’s, Morgan Freeman’s and Mark Rufallo’s. Once again, the veterans provide class and skill way ahead of the youth.

Michael Caine himself was great, but his role was not as big as the ones he used to do back in the day. However, he’s done a very good deal in making Tessler seem genuine, and proved to the class that the Master can successfully act as a newbie, while a newbie will in no instance be able to act as a Master – unless he becomes one later on.

And I won’t tell you anything about Woody Harrelson’s character because I really want you to be pleasantly surprised when you’ll first encounter him. He’s just that awesome!

Each time the plot thickens and each time a new situation develops, you think you finally know what’s in store for you. You think you’ve realized the idea behind each scene or event depicted – but fortunately, the movie is so unpredictable that it always takes you by surprise, making you jaw-drop in awe of the magic on the screen.

Do not, for the love of God, miss this movie. I gave it a ten out of ten because there was no eleven. Just know that. “Now you see me” is definitely the best movie of the year! And I have no doubt it will remain that way, because there’s nothing that could possibly be more surprising in a good way than this was. (Because we have Game of Thrones to surprise us in the worst possible ways ever thought by a human mind 😛 )

I think it is also a very good candidate to movie of the decade (the last ten years). If you can think of an alternative, feel free to comment, I would be interested in other options and opinions. The only alternative that came to mind in my case was Red Cliff and its sequel.

So this being said, don’t miss the chance of seeing a really great movie in the theatre, because such an opportunity is quite rare these days, when everything’s about special effects and blowing up things, and less about story and amazing characters.

Indru, The Writer.