The FBI and Interpol assign detectives to investigate a team of magicians – the self-proclaimed ‘Four Horsemen’ (Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson, Franco) – who perform elaborate bank thefts in their shows and repatriate the money that they steal to their audiences.
Now You See Me, a movie that tries so desperately to be this generation’s Ocean’s Eleven, is one of the most boring, inconsequential and utterly preposterous movies I have seen this year [no hyperbole]. This confused, half-arsed mess of a film is over-stylised and heavily post-produced, presents completely dislikable characters that do sod all, and has zero story arc. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
The film has a singular, long, flat, dull act that trudges along in first gear and barely makes it to the finish line in one piece. No amount of lens flare (of which there is an obscene amount), or Isla Fisher flying around in CG bubbles, or Jesse Eisenberg being the jive turkey cunt he plays so much of late, or Dave Franco shooting CG flames out of his sleeves, can save this movie. It’s absolutely awful.
One of the huge problems I had with this movie was its tone. It’s nestled somewhere between magic shows in which they try to present the magic as ‘real’, yet has scenes filled with CG effects that aren’t magic at all, where it’s basically a fantasy narrative. The Prestige, a movie also about magic, barely relied on CG effects to deliver its scenes of wonderment. Now You See Me used a computer to execute card tricks, which was a complete insult to the entire concept of magic.
Another issue was the writing and the story itself. The screenwriter felt compelled used Basil Exposition in the character played by Morgan Freeman. The only scenes in which we see the Four Horsemen (which should be Four Horsepeople on account of Isla Fisher) together are when they are on stage or about to go on stage. There are no character dynamics explored, nor is there an explanation of motivation for the great mystery revealed at the end of the first act, which as discussed, is at the end of the film.
The final nail on the coffin for this movie was how the crowds were reacting to each trick. In the final scene, whole swathes of people, chant and whoop for these characters in a similar display to the people of New York City in Ghostbusters 2. It was such a strange departure from the tone of the rest of the movie.
I could go on and on about it’s utter failure as a movie, but it’s not even worth my time. Now You See Me, the movie which if you do what the title says, you’ll be bloody annoyed you did.