I had really high hopes for Now You See Me when I went to its midnight premiere. After seeing the trailer, I was expecting an interesting story surrounding the concept of magic reinforced by a rather established cast of actors and actresses. I left the theater feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment.
The movie follows an FBI team who are attempting to arrest a team of illusionists known as the 'Four Horsemen' who pull off bank heists during their big performances, giving the money back to audience members.
This film failed to deliver on all levels.
One can pick apart almost every aspect of Now You See Me, but here are some of the most obvious and worse problems with this film: (Spoilers)
- The Plot. One of THE most important aspects of a story and film. The plot in Now You See Me is flustered, choppy, and not fully explained. One is left wondering about the motives of certain characters and why they commit various actions. For example, millionaire Arthur Tressler (played by the talented Michael Caine) befriends the 'Four Horseman' for no apparent reason, then is shocked and appalled when the magicians end up stealing his money during their second performance. Tressler subsequently attempts to 'destroy' the magicians and is never seen again in the film. The FBI and police in the film are pitiful in their attempts to bring down the magicians. (The 'big' twist at the end may help explain why BUT even then it shouldn't matter.) Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman) is a character that could have been employed to enrich the plot but fell rather short (Although I found him to be the only interesting character in the film). I do not understand why the police would not force his cooperation and why he failed to take action when working for Tressler. I can keep going on but you get the picture. The plot had ALOT of flaws and holes rendering it hopeless.
- Character Development. This movie tried and failed to create any substantial relationships in the film. Every character fell short. Director Louis Leterrier threw FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent) together and expected a relationship to develop after a day or two. And somehow one did.. I cannot even begin to explain how annoying their dynamic was together on screen. There was barely any screen time for the characters who considered themselves the "Four Horsemen", therefore there was barely any development in their characters or complexion whatsoever.
- Acting. The only two actors I honestly enjoyed seeing in this film were Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman but even then their characters were highly flawed in the film. The mere presence of Freeman's voice wasn't even able to save Now You See Me.
- Style. Visually the film was lacking. There were too many moments that were disgustingly fake which brought down the supposed 'realistic' nature of the film. Some of the chase scenes and 'action' scenes were choppy and difficult to watch only because of the strain on the eye.
These are only a few of the indisputable problems that immediately challenge this film. There are many others that I just do not have the time to get into. Despite all of the drawbacks of the film, there are some interesting turns but thats about it. The only thing that I really liked about the film was the couple references and scenes in Paris #Francophileproblems.
When all the smoke clears, there really is no magic to this film whatsoever.