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31st May
2013
written by Adam

F.B.I. agent Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), layman and tough guy, is assigned the case of tracking four up and coming magicians, J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves, and Jack Wilder (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco), suspected of committing a series of impossible crimes. Due to the international status and unusual nature of the crimes Rhodes is assisted by Interpol agent Alma (Melanie Laurent) and exposer of secrets Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Meanwhile, the magicians are supported by financial heavyweight Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and a mysterious benefactor who’s intentions aren’t entirely clear. The idea is to outsmart the criminals who’ve already placed themselves ten steps ahead of their marks, but this will mean learning to think like a magician and trying to observe all the angles. Will Rhodes be able to catch up or will these deviant masterminds disappear without a trace?nowyouseeme Conceptually interesting at the outset it’s unfortunate that the screenwriters aren’t aware of the basic magic fact “in order for magic to be fun you can’t expose the secret.” The instant an illusion is revealed that sense of awe or reverence is completely lost. There exists the slight chance an audience member might have respect for the method that was chosen to make the magic happen, although as the classic magic text of Maskelyne and Devant “Our Magic” explains, this is highly unlikely and ultimately weakens the art. So, is it any surprise a film based on exposing secrets would be any better? In short, nope, in fact it’s kind of like a soda that’s been left out to lose its fizz for a week, still sweet but lacking the real pizazz to hold our attention. Furthermore, lack of character development leaves the audience with little or no connection to the leads, in this case we just don’t care for anyone and the final reveal makes the whole operation feel cheap and un-earned. Cheese Whiz anyone? Maybe a rental. Now You See Me is rated PG-13

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