If there is one thing Now You See Me has in bounty, it is swag, yards and yards of swag and an epic amount of coolness that makes audiences want to watch the movie immediately after watching its theatrical trailer. I am happy to say that by the end of this feature, this popcorn movie did not disappoint and delivered on its promise in spades.
Four magicians — Meritt Mckinney (Woody Harrelson, Natural Born Killers, Hunger Games), Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network), his former assistant turned solo act Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic) and Jake Wilder (Dave Franco, 21 Jump Street) each receive a mysterious invitation to a New York apartment where they are exposed to a blueprint which involves an intricate series of illusions that will not only boost their careers but make people believe in magic once again. However, the identity of their host remains a secret. One year after, they find themselves as the headliners in Las Vegas as The Four Horsemen, the hottest magic act since Copperfield, with the support of their benefactor, multimillionaire Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). For their finale, they cap their show with their “robbing a bank” trick, giving audiences $3 million that was apparently “stolen” from a bank in Paris. This brings FBI Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and his accidental partner Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent) on their tail, as well as Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a former magician who now makes his living by exposing their secrets. Conflict ensues as Agent Rhodes tries to crack the case where the culprits always seem to be several steps ahead.
Now You See Me was an immensely entertaining watch. Like a good magic act, it starts off quite light and fun but it grows more intense as the show progresses. The story definitely has layers, and the revelation of each layer is an astounding challenge to the audience at every turn. It plays like a heist movie, only made all the more exciting as it involves magic, illusions and the razzle dazzle of a Las Vegas stage.
Director Louis Letterier did a fine job directing this movie, guiding audiences to its high points and low points seamlessly with excellent dialogue and a cast that embodies each of the characters perfectly. My only complaint about the movie was perhaps the small amount of time allotted to flesh out each character, especially The Four Horsemen. It would have been great if it was revealed that they were chosen for a particular reason and that it had a connection to the cards that they were originally given. I would have liked it too if the movie showed what happened to them after they accomplished their task. But that’s just me.
All in all, Now You See Me is one of the coolest films involving magic that I have seen, and this includes even the Harry Potter franchise. It is contemporary. It is fresh. It is innovative, charming and sexy all at once. It has a wow factor that showcased astounding illusions, special effects, a great score, a cast of charismatic up and comers coupled with the reliable strength of acting veterans. Kudos to all that was involved.