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Monday, September 26, 2022

A magic show that showers its audience with cash via a heist – this is not the kind of magic show you’ve seen at a 6-year-old’s birthday party.

“Now You See Me” follows a group of magicians — played by Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco — called The Four Horsemen. They don’t pull rabbits out of top hats. They pull money from what seems like thin air.

The Four Horsemen pull off a series of heists and deluges their audiences with the money they garner, much to the dismay of FBI agent Dylan Rhodes, played by Mark Ruffalo and Interpol agent Alma Dray, played by Melanie Laurent. Their puzzling shows are put to the test when Rhodes and Dray try to catch the magicians in the act of robbery with the help of an ex-magician and magic debunker, Thaddeus Bradley, played by Morgan Freeman, who attempts to expose the Four Horsemen’s tricks. 

The plot of “Now You See Me” is intriguing. It’s not every day that you see an elaborate bank heist pulled off with magic. The film also carries a Robin Hood complex, taking from the rich and giving to the poor, more or less. The magicians themselves are fascinating. One of the horsemen, Henley, played by Fisher, is a clever escape artist. Another Horseman, Merritt, played by Harrelson, is a mentalist and makes his money hypnotizing people.

Most bothersome about the film is its many plot holes. Without giving a way too much, the twist towards the end doesn’t tie the film together as nicely as it could.  Consequently, many loose ends and unanswered questions are left. One may expect the film to pull off its strewn plot by the end, giving way to anticipation of an impressive final act – much like an actual magic show –but fails to do so. Instead, it seems as if the director tried to pull a fast one on the audience with its thin plot.

This aspect of “Now You See Me” is disappointing, considering the star power this film has, from Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and up-and-coming actor Dave Franco, to name a few. The presence of these A-list actors doesn’t help the film’s shallowness, as their star power doesn’t completely mask the lack of substance.

Nonetheless, “Now You See Me” puts on an engaging story and is admittedly still a fun summer film. The tricks are entertaining to watch as is some of the debunking that occurs. The Four Horsemen’s chemistry is also undeniable. For the most part, “Now You See Me” was enjoyable, but don’t expect a 100 percent intelligently managed storyline. 

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