Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Now You See Me

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! A clown once asked me if I wanted to see a magic trick...the horrors that followed still haunt me.




Now You See Me – 4 out of 5

This is one of those movies that, when I saw the trailer, thought it looked cool and agreed with the internet’s assumption that it was Ocean’s Eleven but with magic. I was cool with that. However, the problem that arises from a movie like Now You See Me is that all those syndicated critics and the pretentious dicks who works for your local paper reviewing stuff and has that annoying profile picture of himself by each of his articles with either the pose that involves him putting a fist under his chin or just flat out holding his chin sees this movie and instantly gets a hard-on because they get to write hack jokes about it in their reviews that all read, “The only thing magic about Now You See Me is that it made my time and money disappear.” Then, thinking they wrote the wittiest thing in existence, they begin to masturbate their own ego and cry themselves to sleep.  Local newspaper critics (even syndicated ones in local papers) are my mortal enemies, in case you haven't caught on.


"Um...is this your card?"



Now You See Me is about four magicians; J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), the mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), that are recruited by an unseen individual and are shown the potential for the ultimate trick. Almost overnight, this illustrious quartet hits the big time as they rob a bank through the use of magic (illusions, Michael). Since, you know, robbing a bank is a crime, an obsessed cop (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Mélaine Laurent) are out to find out how they did it…accept, they can’t prove anything and now they are out to use their “illusions” to commit more crimes. Now the law will stop at nothing to end their crime wave; including calling upon the services of a magic debunker (Morgan Freeman).


Woody Harrelson's cold reading in this film was more convincing than that
asshole who use to have a TV show (I won't say his name but he won Biggest
Douche in the Galaxy once).


Now You See Me has some issues but I found it to be a fun crime comedy. The cast is fantastic and they are all playing great parts—the cast is also really big and filled with some huge names (maybe too big, I don't know). For example, Michael Caine is in this one too and Common comes also for the ride. Everyone involved does a great job—even Dave Franco, an actor I haven’t said the nicest things to in previous reviews—was great in his role. In fact, every single person involved did their job extremely well and no one was overpowering another to get more attention.


They all look like someone is mooning them in the audience and only Harrelson
and Franco are okay with it.



"Don't tell Mr. Wayne that I'm using his plane!"
 The film does a great job of balancing all the talent and characters in this film. Despite the fact Eisenberg is trying to look less like Michael Cera than ever, you still get his hear his “I sound like I’m about to start bawling at any second” voice just as much as you hear Morgan Freeman make the world sound like we are all in a nature documentary. I never felt one actor got more screen time or attention than another (with some exception) but I definitely felt like some were stealing the movie more than others.


I'll be honest, I would enjoy hearing Freeman narrate a magic trick...
"And then the man in the top hat told the woman her card and she was very delighted..."


Mark Ruffalo really stood out to me (like he does in every freakin’ movie he’s in) as the obsessive cop trying to uncover the magical foursome. He had a raw energy to him that made him look and act like an open nerve, exposed to the elements and ready to blow off at any second as the frustration built inside him. His character’s lack of patient and quick use of sarcasm made him carry the film amazingly well and really crafted some perfect humorous moments.


"Liam Neeson?  Why are you calling me?  Wut?  Kill me?  Why?"


I was also really surprised with how well Jesse Eisenberg was. With the exception of Zombieland and The Social Network, I can only stand Eisenberg in small doses (and even in The Social Network I felt like I had to see too much of him) and that reason being is that I haven’t seen him ever play anything other than the smart ass introvert that is socially awkward to the point he always has to mention he’s socially awkward. However, I was surprised how he played a completely different character than I’ve ever seen him in the past and he did it well. I’m guessing it has to do with the facial hair he sported in the film.


In fairness, it's probably the best facial hair he can grow...but keep trying, buckaroo!


The complaints I had with the film are minor. Isla Fisher and Mélaine Laurent felt underutilized in the film as the movie played out like a “boy’s game” and the film makes them less of powerful characters in their own right and more of romantic (or former romantic interests, in the case of Fisher) to other characters. Which brings me to my next point, the film’s pointless romantic plot that is haphazardly thrown in between Laurent’s character and Ruffalo’s character.  It felt completely needless and does absolutely nothing for the story. Finally, the film has some plot points that are weakly established and go pretty much unresolved at the end (but it’s said a sequel is coming out so maybe they’ll get resolved).


"I was going to have a bigger part but then the production remembered that they
wanted a sandwich."


While these items can be distracting, the film is really fun and flashy. The caper is laid out well and the magic tricks (illusions) used to pull them off are slick and neat (yes, I just said neat). While the film has its issues, they weren’t enough to keep me from enjoying this one and since the cast is great and the characters are fun, Now You See Me proves to be one of those movies that is just entertaining to watch. And I guess that’s the magic of it… (and that’s my obligatory—and lame—wannabe newspaper critic line to sum up the film).

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with your review! The plot holes were massive but it was all so well done. The actors were superb and I didn't even guess the villain until they outed themselves. Highly entertaining and visually stunning. I'd love to see the sequel and see the holes resolved. Definitely a must see movie though.

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