Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 18, 2013

‘Now You See Me’ is the best kind of movie magic

Belated Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — My intention after visiting the theaters these days is always to review every movie I’ve seen within no more than a week after I’ve seen it. Alas, as time constraints interfere and this practice being more of a nonpaid side venture that doesn’t always allow for me to rush in and deliver it like a drive-thru order, the occasional example like today’s title can be delayed much longer than I’d like.

However, still being the summer movie season and with the standard industry rush to DVD guaranteeing it’ll be viewable in homes maybe even before I finish the final paragraph, I can still opine and give the undecided viewer something to think about. The thing that constantly reminded me to try and take a few minutes to finally get this review written is how this flick was far from dismissible and likely runs off with the best thriller/robbery centered tale of 2013. Whether or not all of the questions one might have had afterward were answered to their full satisfaction, “Now You See Me” keeps audiences engaged in not just a visual sleight of hand, but mental magic that is fun to guess along to.

The tale centers on a plot where four relatively talented magicians, J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) are pulled out of their mediocre lives when mysteriously summoned for a greater purpose by tarot cards. It seems they have been recruited to test their magical skills by an unknown benefactor and through this form a travelling act called “The Four Horsemen.”

However, part of their tests involve some rather illegal activities like robbing a bank during one of their live shows, which attracts the attention of authorities like FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). Yet, the group seems to be too clever for the officer on his own, who turns to those like magician myth buster Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and Interpol Agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) to help him try to not always be steps behind. The whole ballet is so fiendishly loaded with twists and turns that it definitely lives up to the phrase of “the closer you look, the less you actually see” and one has to pay attention to notice how the answers are not as direct as they seem on the surface.

It’s certainly an entertaining example of a good ensemble based adventure as each of the actors feed off of each other from the more recently famous to the veteran professionals. You feel satisfied with the way things wrap up and leaves enough mystery for one to draw a few conclusions on their own.

I highly recommend it for most ages (the cutoff being probably the below teen crowd due to language and slightly adult situations) and appreciate the 007-ish style Brian Tyler brings to the soundtrack. It’s intriguing enough to leave enough room for a sequel even if a majority of the cast were replaced and a somewhat similar formula were employed. It’s enough to earn it three and three fourths out of five heists.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.