Saturday, March 01, 2014

Now You See Me - 2013

Hey, there's nothing that says I can't talk about recent stuff, and I don't think enough people saw "Now You See Me" for it to pass unnoticed. So, my love for a good heist film is certainly on record, and I enjoy stage magic as much as the next guy, which is part of why "Now You See Me" is so much better than you might expect. Part of why.

The premise of the movie is that four magicians, used to working on their own, team up and start committing crimes in a theatrical way under the pseudonym "The Four Horsemen," and the FBI is trying to figure out not only how these magicians have turned into master thieves, but also why they're doing it, and how they can stop them.

I don't want to talk too much about the movie itself, because that would spoil the fun of it all, but let me just tell you this - ensemble casts require a lot of great actors, each willing to play into their part and never try and steal the spotlight, and this cast does that wonderfully. Jesse Eisenberg plays the control freak, Isla Fisher the neo-punk, Woody Harrelson the mentalist, Dave Franco the rookie, Michael Caine the bankroll, Mark Ruffalo the fed, Melanie Laurent the international fed and Morgan goddamn Freeman as the debunker. Each of them gets their moment to shine, but the film is at its best when two or three of them are interplaying off of each other. There's a wonderful scene early on between Eisenberg and Ruffalo in an interrogation room that is just delightful to watch. The writing gives actors a chance to riff back and forth and build an easy rapport, and the film gives that space to breathe, letting the characters develop even as the story goes along. It's also not a film that force feeds things, letting the audience fill in some of the gaps from bits and pieces.

"Now You See Me" was, apparently, a 'sleeper hit,' in that it didn't generate a lot of noise, but a number of people went and saw it. Hell, it's the first film in a long time that I actually went and saw in the theater TWICE. And, I'm pleased to discover that a sequel was greenlit, so that's pleasant to find out, because this cast worked great together, and I look forward to seeing what comes along in the next iteration. The film isn't for everyone, though, as some people on IMDB called it "pretentious" and "idiotic." I find the film delightful and am willing to go along for the ride, but hey, some people want their plots to be so perfect that you can't pick it apart. (Those people don't do well in heist films, I've found, because they get annoyed by luck, chance, planning done off-camera, details the director didn't show for sake of dramatic revelation, etc.) Me, I'm fine with having some popcorn fun that sucks me in for a few hours, and to the people who didn't like "Now You See Me," well, you don't have to go to the sequel. Me, I can't wait...

1 comment:

SirSerpy said...

Wow, the trailer looks great and after reading your review I really want to see this! Plus I love Michael Caine and Morgan of course :)