18 Jun 2013

My view review...Now you see me


I'm sort of back and I have decided to be extremely honest when conducting film reviews, and first up was a secret screening (as in we didnt know what it would be until it we were in our seats)and without further ado...

My view review…Now You See Me

A man whose face was hidden from the audience appeared to be recruiting magicians by giving them a Tarot card invitation. All those invited never questioned the invite but arrived at the location stated and only then when laying their eyes upon one another did they question their place in the magician hierarchy. Entering the room they are greeted with a magic trick that culminates in a virtual message.

Fast forward to one year later and the four solo magicians have now joined together as a team under the name ‘The Four Horsemen’ and are in Las Vegas
performing an elaborate show. One that involves a live bank robbery. A magician who has made it his job to reveal how magic tricks are done lets us all in on how it was done. Another trick, another reveal. All the time the four horseman are pursued by a detective, the FBI or CIA and Interpol. A final trick and a final reveal with a twist that leads to character revelation and a sci-fi sway.

The four horsemen played by Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher were at a glance an interesting combination.

Jesse and Isla’s characters are supposed to have feelings bubbling under the surface but their chemistry on screen indicated that they weren’t so much under the surface as in their shoes, a disappointing and unnecessary romantic link for her and Jesses characters. Woody flirting with Isla provided more chemistry. 

Woody’s portrayal came across as effortless but not his or any of the other characters really had any depth, including the main character played by Mark Ruffalo.

Dave Franco (I love the Franco’s) was great, he really committed to being in the role but he was typecast. He, by far, had the best role as his characters actions were integral to the story. I wasn’t sold on the Jackie Chan style fight scene that was all sleeves and household items, but I could watch him all day :)

Morgan Freeman who played the money hungry character who revealed how the magic tricks were done was good but even he could not save this film.

Michael Caine was good, but his character started off being mixed up in the middle of the story and then all of a sudden forgotten. There were so many mismatches, loose ends and why bothers that it was almost a gratuitous part.

The main character, Mark Ruffalo, was the same as always playing a gruff detective who isn’t all he seems and turns out a little creepy in the end, which was quite blah – give him his own TV show already! And the extra romance provided by the detective and Interpol agent also lacked any chemistry. The dialogue between them was brief, shallow and repetitive and could easily be summarised in two words from her ‘have faith’. It was well acted on her part but the actions of her character were purposely supposed to be ambiguous yet it wasn’t well written and came off as her just being odd.

It was predictable, some things seemed in there for the sake of it with no real relevance (the Tarot cards) and it was quite long. The scenes seemed to jar against one another and I felt like there was no real flow or natural ease to it. There were so many holes in the story that swiss cheese would be jealous! Basically, it was an extended episode of Hustle but not as good.

I am not a magic fan but feel that the story never connected with the audience and none of the characters did either it just didn’t work. There was some odd camera action during a chase (I’m sure there is a technical name for it) where its like you are behind the camera but it was too much and I felt a bit disorientated by it, which would have worked had the film been better than it was and the audience (i.e. me!) had been invested in the story.

I don’t know if this was ever a novel first that a screenplay was then written from or if it was a straight to screenplay film but to could have been so much more. It came terribly close to trying too hard.

IMDb has given it 7.5/10 and Rotten Tomatoes 49%...I have to say I agree with Rotten Tomatoes. I give it a 2.5/5 and recommend seeing it on DVD or eventually TV.


  1. Well that saved me the price of a cinema ticket :) Did fancy it from the trailer but looks like that (as is so often the case these days) the trailer was the best bits.

    1. I would say see it on DVD/tv at some point if only to see a poor story development, an ending for the sake of it and poorly developed characters, a sort of what to avoid if you want to draw your audience in and keep them hooked. I must review the others I have seen this past month. Admission in particular was good but a poor metaphor. Thanks for commenting Laura!


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