“Come in close, because the more you think you see, the easier you’ll be to fool” So says the trailer and opening line of Now You See Me as if writing my review for me.
Now You See Me purports to be a twisting Inception esque thriller filled with showbiz, magic and theft but which ends up a rather damp squib with some ludicrous twists and some loopy jumps in logic. The closer you watch it the more you’ll feel fooled into believing perhaps something special is going to happen soon and that the film can’t be as silly as this? Sadly, it is.
The plot has something to do with 4 magicians who keep stealing things, an FBI agent angry about Interpol interfering or whatever and Michael Caine wishing they’d only blown the bloody doors off or something. I’m not being rude but if you look closer than that and think you’re uncovering some mega clever plotting you’re going to be disappointed. The twists can be spotted a mile off and yet they still feel barnstormingly dumb when they happen. The entire final 3rd of the movie feels like someone behind the scenes believes they are much smarter than they are and this seriously hurts the final product. Had Now You See Me tried to have a slightly more simple ending it would have gotten away with it and I’d have added 2 stars to this review, that’s how much the ending detracts from it.
For a great film about magic with twists and intrigue and Michael Caine, go and watch The Prestige. It’s the film Now You See Me wishes it was. This is a shame as the cast is great and the film does try to stand out in a summer dominated by explosions and city wide destruction. Trying to do something original is to be commended and I truly wanted to love the film, I just wish it could have been as good as that promise.
Reece Lipman is a freelance filmmaker and writer who specialises in low budget short films and music videos under the banner of Shimmer-Man Productions. Reece has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival and has a dangerously nerdy fascination with pop culture. He can often be found trying to convince people why Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who are the greatest things that have ever existed and wakes up most mornings wishing that he was Joss Whedon or Edgar Wright. You can read more from Reece on his website or you can follow him on Twitter (@ReeceLipman).