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    June 2, 2013


    Movies about magicians are always intriguing, partly due to their occasionally high-rise concept and amazing appeals served on the table. Once upon a time, Christopher Nolan had a try-out on this genre and he gave us a magnificent movie called The Prestige. Then, Neil Burger brought us the engrossing Vienna-sets and tricks in The Illusionist. Today, Clash of the Titans helmer Louis Leterrier brings you his own vision of magician flick - Now You See Me, which borrows heavily elements from various other caper heist thrillers. In this movie, Leterrier teams up four extraordinary street magicians – Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fischer), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) as a super-team “The Four Horsemen, whose performance in Las Vegas brings them on the edge of the boiling soup.

    Genre: Mystery/Crime Thriller
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 30 May 2013
    Running Time: 116 minutes
    Distributor: LionsGate/Summit Entertainment
    Director: Louis Leterrier
    Screenplay: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
    Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fischer, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

    Plot: NOW YOU SEE ME pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against "The Four Horsemen", a super-team of the world's greatest illusionists. "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.

    FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) are assigned to the case involving their involvement in a bank robbery in Paris. However, they are unable to link The Four Horsemen with the crime but are otherwise determined that they are somewhat involved. Enlisting the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a former magician-turn-debunker, the trio goes on a cat-and-mouse hunt with The Four Horsemen as the gang is preparing for another grand heist in their next performance.

    The screenplay is written by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, receiving some ends from Yakin’s script from Jason Statham’s Safe. The plot on its surface consists of multilayer and structural stories that wraps around the core issue. The pacing is so fast that any slight alteration on the story could easily confuses anyone who pays less attention. While the whole movie seems to focus on connecting the band of illusionists to a crime they committed during the performance, the plot also discovers more of their intentions, secrets and the back-stories. In the end, Now You See Me is a movie that has all the attraction to engage the audience with the convoluted structural story and twists that are really shocking.

    Even with a good premise and plot in hand, Now You See Me fails to deliver some of the critical part for a great movie to stand. While being the centre of the plot scheme, the four members of the band are given thin characters to savour for. Even Ruffalo, Laurent, Caine and Freeman seem to have that problem too. The ultimatum is that there is no character study for this feature, which is critical for any thriller. Also absent in the movie is a strong sense of direction where at times, the movie tends to go south with the relatively poor job in film editing and non-matching scores. At least, even at the mess in some certain action scenes, you can see the sense of artistry in it as if Leterrier waves his magical wand around the camera as a distraction to something bigger.

    In the end, Now You See Me is a superlative, energetic  engaging and exhilarating movie that has all the potential it needed to success. With an interesting plot, smart twists and richly ensemble casting, the movie still hit a crude bump with the little mess on its delivery. This results in a less than potent cinematic control that limits it from fulfillment.

    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.8/20.0

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