“Now You See Me” is well-acted and generally interesting to watch, though it’s not nearly as magical as it gives the impression of being.”
Louis Leterrier’s “Now You See Me” revolves around the antics of ‘The Four Horsemen,” (Jessie Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson – who seems to be turning up everywhere lately – Dave Franco and Isla Fisher) a group of magicians who are somehow committing crimes while not actually being present at the scene. They’re being doggedly pursued by FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) who always seems a few steps behind.
Morgan Freeman plays Thaddeus Bradley, a former magician who now makes a living revealing their secrets.
Written by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, I get the feeling that the story was significantly darker that than what finally made it to the screen. I assume that that is the case because there’s a subplot about the Order of Horus (an ancient sect of magicians whose abilities extend beyond illusion, into true magic) that makes absolutely no sense in the context of the film, and would be a better fit on a supernatural-based movie.
It’s fitting that “Now You See Me” revolves around illusion and slight of hand because the film uses them in ample quantities to make it seem more interesting, more visually spectacular that it actually is.
And for a while it works because when that camera is swooping around, combined with rapid fire editing by Robert Leighton and Vincent Tabaillon, you actually think that things are going to be a lot more interesting than they end up being.
What’s also awesome is that Freeman’s Thaddeus Bradley is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is, which considering that he has played God before, is pretty refreshing.