Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 23, 2024

Now You See Me movie proves to be magical

By Ellen Brait | June 17, 2013

I’ve always been a sucker for action films that weave complex heist plans. When the logic behind these plans is later revealed to the audience, making all of those crazy, impossible things that took place suddenly make sense, I find myself giddy with excitement. I sat front row and center for Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, waiting to see what crazy robbery they pulled off next. For this reason, I was hooked as soon as the opening credits of Now You See Me lit up the screen.

With a great cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco, this movie was set to be good from the get go. Add in the ruthless characters portrayed by Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine and you’ve got yourself a stacked cast.

The film tells the story of four individual magicians, played by Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher, and Franco, who come together to put on performances in which they rob banks, and give the money to their audiences. They call themselves The Four Horsemen and throughout the film they are tirelessly pursued by an FBI agent played by Ruffalo and an Interpol detective from France.

The scenes in which they put on their performances were by far the most entertaining for me. I felt like I was actually lucky enough to get a ticket to one of their highly sought after performances. The theatre always seemed to liven up when one of their shows started, with everyone in the audience just as excited to see what they would do next as the audience in the movie was.

It is made known that the Four Horsemen are backed by an unknown figure from the beginning. The film does a great job of leaving the audience guessing as to the identity of this individual. When they are finally revealed, you will not be disappointed. A few people in the theatre I saw the film in even shouted out in surprise or gave the reveal a dramatic few claps of their hands. Needless to say, there was widespread shock and no one seemed to be disappointed or unimpressed.

Despite all of the great things this movie accomplished, I was a little disappointed with two things. The first was character development. Some very interesting characters were presented throughout the film, but rarely were their personalities really explored. One of the Four Horsemen, Henley, played by Fisher was especially flat. At the beginning of the film, an interesting dynamic was presented between her and J. Daniel who was played by Eisenberg. But their relationship was never explored and left me unsatisfied. J. Daniel’s catch phrase from the film seems very fitting for this problem: “The more you look, the less you see.”

The second thing I had a problem with was the ending. While the film was very logical and all of the “magic” the Four Horsemen put on was later explained in insanely cool ways, the ending took the feel good magic theme a bit too far. I won’t give away the ending, but just be prepared for the over-the-top carousel scene near the end. It’s pretty corny, to say the least.

Seeing as that particular scene only lasted for a minute or two, and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, I’m willing to overlook these two mishaps and give the movie my shining badge of approval. If you have an evening to kill and want to be distracted from your own mundane life, give Now You See Me a try. It’s definitely worth it.


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