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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now You See Me (2012) Review

This film promises an entertaining good time - a group of skilled magicians team up, using their magic to rob banks. Sounds great! About twenty minutes into the film it performs one the greatest magic tricks ever filmed - the ability to strip a film with a tremendous premise and a stellar cast of all fun and intrigue. Now THAT is magic.

I am sure when they pitched this film they described it as Oceans 11 with magic - a nice balance of personalities, intrigue and entertainment. The film does not deliver on that, the poorly used cast (including Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo) are undermined by a convoluted plot and a large CGI budget.

After a trick or two are "performed" you realize this is not a film about magic, it is a preposterous story full of CGI illusions - no magic to be found. Even if the plot is disappointing you would expect the magic aspect would help retain some interest in what is happening on screen. Sadly, there is NO magic - the film is stripped of that early on when you realize instead of illusions that feel real they are preposterous CGI displays.

By definition magic are: mysterious tricks performed as entertainment. Magic works because you allow yourself to suspend disbelief to be entertained by the mystery. Half the fun is trying to figure out how they did it. This film makes the fatal mistake of stripping away that mystery by using massive amounts of CGI. You KNOW how they performed the tricks, by using computers and that's not intriguing in the least. After each "trick" is performed, including the less than stupefying climax, you are left scratching your head - unfortunately not wondering how they created the illusion, rather how they messed this film up so badly.

4.5 out of 10