Now You See Me: "The More You Look, The Less You See"

Director: Louis Leterrie
Writer:    Ed Solomon
               Boaz Yakin
               Edward Ricourt
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg
               Woody Harrelson
               Isla Fisher
               Dave Franco
               Mark Ruffalo
               Melanie Laurent
               Morgan Freeman
               Michael Caine
Rating:    ****

Release Date: 03/07/2013 

I'm not a big fan of your typical heist/caper movies; a bunch of middle aged men, with a cheeky glint in their eye and some sort of conniving plan up their sleeve always seems to grate on me. However, when I first read about Now You See Me something about the concept excited me. It has everything that I wouldn't normally like about these films with an added splash of glitz, glamour and breathtaking illusions; it's this that turned my frown upside down. I'm aware that because it is a film they aren't technically performing these amazing and spell bounding tricks, but somehow I got sucked in and believed everything I saw.

Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg,
Isla Fisher & Woody Harrelson
At the opening of the film we are first introduced to a fantastical street magician called J. Daniell Atlas (Eisenberg), think Dynamo with some added Hollywood panache. Soon after we meet Merrit McKinney (Harrelson) a mentalist, mind reader between you and me, who we catch revealing some home truths to a married couple. Jack Wilder (Franco) is another street magician who also has a bit of a knack when it comes to pick pocketing; and finally we have the glamorous and sexy escape artist, Henley Reeves (Fisher). Each are going about their lives and performing grand tricks and illusions across America; that is until today. Each 'magician' receives a tarot car with an address on, they meet at the address and from that moment on their lives change.

A year later and the group are performing together in Vegas, now under the name 'The 4 Horsemen', and they are about to perform their biggest trick ever. They are going to rob a Parisian bank, all the way from Las Vegas. All goes well and the bank loses out on nearly 3 million euros, the question is how. The FBI are called into help and Agent Rhodes (Ruffalo) along with french agent Alma Dray (Laurent) take the case head on. They are constantly in hot pursuit of the gang, but somehow are always a few steps behind. Even with the help of ex-magician Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman) they are unable to figure out how they managed to commit such a gargantuan crime. The group go on to commit two more robberies each growing in size, wonder and glamour; the trick to the groups success...their secret leader.

Mark Ruffalo & Morgan Freeman
The actors give sharp, witty and clever performances, with Eisenberg especially filling the screen with an exciting energy and well earned arrogance. Each member of The 4 Horsemen has there role in the caper and the same can be said for the actors; Eisenberg leads them and delivers dry wit and clever monologues at a wicked pace, Harrelson is always on hand to deliver the comedic punches as well as a surprising warmth, Fisher provides the glamour, sex appeal and heart to the group. and finally Franco (the far more likable brother) provides the kick ass attitude and high adrenaline fighting. I'll admit I found Ruffalo an odd choice for a FBI agent, but as the film developed and the plot thickened I realised just how well he worked.

The direction is slick, so slick that you forget just how fake the illusions and tricks are, and genuinely believe these four actors as sharp-witted illusionists. Each set piece has been well thought out, and until the tricks are revealed, I found my self constantly trying to figure out how they were done. What makes the film so fun to watch is that you can clearly see how much fun the cast are having on the screen in front of you. I'm not gonna say it is the most memorable film out there, but what it is, is a clever, funny and brilliantly directed crime caper filled with tense drama, shocking twists and most fantastic of all...magic.

Now You See Me - Trailer