Now You See Me tells the story of a quartet of magicians and illusionists. Kind of. Well, at least it starts out like that. However, as the story goes on, the audience doesn't follow their story but the story of an FBI agent who is trying to hunt them down. It's almost like the movie is unaware of what it is which not only confuses the audience but also makes the plot more uninteresting. Believe me when I say, I had high expectations from this movie. The phenomenal Nolan masterpiece, The Prestige is one of my all-time favourites so I was expecting this movie to be great. However, this movie had many things not going for it.
The plot seems to be the weakest side of the movie. A street magician, an escape artist, a pick pocketer and an illusionist are called in by a mysterious group to frame millionaires who have apparently did something wrong. The movie doesn't really tell us what horrible things these millionaires did to deserve having all of their accounts, their lives' work, cleared out. The movie also didn't reveal anything about the mysterious group that brought the group together in the beginning of the movie. And I liked that. I thought the movie would treat us with small gourmets of information throughout to figure it out but...no. You only find out what it is literally in the last 4 minutes of the movie. Another thing that caught my attention, are the many cheesy one-liners. Allow me to quote what a commissioner says to an officer: "Abrakadabra, I am taking over this operation." Someone read that and approved it. Let that sink in for a while.
The reason why magic related movies aren't very popular is because the thrill of experiencing "magic" in person does not have the same effect through the screen, which is sad but unfortunately, true. The Prestige worked because it wasn't based fully on magic, it was based on rivalry. Now You See Me is based fully on theft through "magic". Listen up kids, the difference between a thief and a magician thief is that a magician thief does it with charisma and a cool soundtrack in the background so it's alright, we applaud them.
What made me go see this movie was the incredible ensemble. Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, the list goes on. I think the acting in this movie was solid; you won't be awed by it but it's well acted. Although, I did feel like Mark Zuckeberg was the head of the team but that's my opinion
One thing that caught my attention was the imagery. In the first act, I have to be honest, the imagery is quite beautiful. There are many long, well planned and overall eye-pleasing shots that really made the audience captivated by the amazing things happening on stage. However, the amount of thought placed in the shots decreases throughout.
It did not meet my expectations in the areas that I wanted it to but overall, I would say that this movie is definitely a fun experience the first time you watch it.