Director: Louis Leterrier
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Common
Running time: 116 minutes
Review by Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
At first glance, Now You See Me looks awesome. Glossy, with sexy stars, it contains tricks worthy of a high-priced Las Vegas stage. However, when the movie tries to fill the conventions of a, you know, movie, the illusion of its awesomeness vanishes to reveal its greatest trick yet: stealing your money.
If you haven't seen a trailer, and chances are you haven't considering the buzz on the film has been minimal, the flick follows The Four Horsemen (Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher and Franco), petty-magicians-turned-headliners who pull off incredible bank heists all for some grand mission (which turns out to be joining an ancient organization called The Eye of Horus—don't ask. It doesn't matter.)
It's as if the story, imagined by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, was by made by following a generic cookbook recipe.
The ingredients include:
1. A secret society that you know is important because its story comes encased in a leather-bound book? Check.
2. Four radically different main characters connected by playful banter? Check.
3. A skeptical detective with daddy issues? Check.
4. A romance between a cynic and a believer? Check.
5. Morgan Freeman? Check...
To be fair, there were some highlights. The magic tricks were fun to watch, and, dare we say, even aided by the Four Horsemen hamming it up Penn and Teller-style. The forced intimacy between the two investigating detectives (Ruffalo and Laurent), anticipated by the audience, did elicit some unintentional laughter. And, most impressively, Jesse Eisenberg plays a damn good asshole. But ultimately, its ridiculousness doesn't go far enough to achieve some kind of cult status, and we're left with a movie slightly more embarrassing than batshit entertaining.