‘Now You See Me’ starts by introducing us to four seemingly random yet individually talented magicians: J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), the celebrity illusionist; Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), the escape artist; Jack Wilder (Dave France), the pickpocket; and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), the mentalist.
When they’re brought together by a mysterious benefactor, based solely on blind faith, they develop an act under the name The Four Horseman. The quartet embarks on an elaborate master plan that spans the globe, granting them international superstardom that’s rife with danger, action, manipulation, misdirection and enough twists and turns to rival any roller coaster. They capture the attention of the FBI and Interpol during their sell-out show in Las Vegas, when they manage to rob a bank on the other side of the world. The film then becomes a game of three-way cat-and-mouse between the magicians, Agents Rhodes and Dray (Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent) and former magician-turned-magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman).
The illusions in the film are perfected with the aide of CGI, causing the story and the audience to constantly be at battle as to whether or not what we’re seeing is real. This only increases the excitement and suspense, because in the world of ‘Now You See Me’, it seems that magicians themselves want to believe in true magic just as much as the punters.
This is a fun, humorous and very entertaining feat.
With shocks and surprises around every corner, this is a fun, humorous and very entertaining feat, but ‘The Usual Suspects’ or ‘The Sixth Sense’ it is not. The film gets an ‘A’ for effort, but the constant reminder that “the big reveal” is coming ultimately causes it to lose its final impact.
The film gives you all the guidance you need with its catchphrase "The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see" - whether or not you heed the advice is the question.