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Now you See Me: A safe thrill ride with some magic

Who knew magicians were that cool? They must be because this summer one of the hits was the magicians action movie, Now You See Me. Featuring an all-star cast, the film went on to make bank and warrant a sequel. But was it worth all of the hoopla? Or was the movie just bad magic?

Now You See Me follows the Four Horsemen, a team of magicians who are not only performing shows but pulling off robberies and heists during them. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco make up the group. Harrelson steals the show with some funny one-liners and his always-charming charisma. Outside of him, I wasn’t too impressed with the group. Eisenberg came off as kind of a punk while the other two felt like fillers.

Mark Ruffalo plays a detective tasked with running down the group after they made waves by robbing a Paris bank while in Las Vegas during their first show. An Interpol cop played by Melanie Laurent joins him and the two have a sweet chemistry while giving us the romantic storyline along the way.

What makes the movie worth seeing is the relatively interesting tricks that they pull of each show. The visuals are engaging and the tricks, while not insanely complex, still have you enjoying the show with the crowd in the movie. This is what works best in the movie as you are given that magic show like atmosphere but since it is done through a movie, there is more room for crazier tricks and it feels like they jacked it up a lot more than you would usually see.

The storyline is solid as Ruffalo and Laurent chase down the team and the usual problems and roadblocks would get in their way. What really threw me off, without spoiling, was the ending, which I found to be poorly written and something that took the movie down when it was so good leading up to that point.

Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine show up throughout and interject small roles here and there. Both are grizzled veterans and only improve the movie. Freeman stands out over Caine though and was one of the better characters in the movie.

Now You See Me is solid fun and a nice late night rental to have during the weekend. It has action, vibrant visuals, and a cast that’ll make you laugh. It doesn’t do anything insane but at the same time builds off a familiar story and makes it its own. It is currently available through Redbox and on DVD and Blu-ray.

 

This review was originally published in the Sept. 5, 2013 edition of the LaFollette Press. Zach Dennis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he studied Journalism/Electronic Media and Cinema Studies.