Susan Granger's review of 'Now You See Me'
If you enjoy David Copperfield-like illusions and are captivated by heist capers like "Ocean's Eleven," I'd recommend this magic-themed thriller.
An introduction pulls into partnership a slick hypnotist/mentalist (Woody Harrelson),
a feisty escape artist (Isla Fisher). Each receives a
cryptic tarot card, setting up
a mysterious meeting at a Manhattan apartment where
they're given a holographic blueprint for an incredible magic act.
Within a year, the quartet, known as The Four Horsemen, is performing in Las Vegas, bankrolled by a millionaire (Michael Caine). On opening night, they teleport an audience member into the vault of a Paris bank and cause three million Euros to flutter down on the enthusiastic audience. They're arrested by a frustrated FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and his Interpol partner (Melanie Laurent), who are unable to prove that they're guilty of the theft. Then they pull off another brazen robbery in New Orleans, distributing millions of dollars to hurricane victims. Observing their spectacular stunts is a cynical debunker (Morgan Freeman), who's built his reality show reputation by publicly exposing magicians' secrets. What the Horsemen are ultimately up to and why propels the suspense -- and I wouldn't dream of revealing it and ruining your good time.
Suffice it to say that screenwriters Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt have concocted a far-fetched plot, which French director Louis Leterrier ("Transporter," "Clash of the Titans") stylishly propels at a fast pace. It's too bad more screen time isn't devoted to the magicians' characters, whose astonishing antics are far more interesting than FBI/Interpol jurisdictional bickering or cops `n' robbers chase scenes. Nevertheless, it's easy to be swept up in clever abracadabra as long as you're willing to suspend disbelief and not compare it to Christopher Nolan's far-better "The Prestige."
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Now You See Me" conjures up an entertaining 8, an intriguing escapade revolving around deliberate misdirection, as in "The more you look, the less you see."