Film Review: Now You See Me

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Even though I took Film Studies for one of my A-levels and loved it, since I left university I haven't watched very many films - mainly because a trip to the pictures in London is quite expensive (I searched for adult tickets at my four nearest cinemas and they all topped £10 at weekends) and because I'm someone who likes to be able to immerse myself in a film. I know there are some people that can have a film on in the background whilst they work, but that's not me; if I'm going to watch a film then I'm going to devote two hours of my life to that film, especially if I haven't seen it before. Consequently, a film that keeps me gripped is always a bonus, and Now You See Me managed to do just that.

As is usual for my film watching, this was one I watched when N and T were out for the evening and I had the flat to myself. I'd heard mixed reviews of it - in particular Mark Kermode, whose opinion I usually trust, said it was a poor man's The Prestige - but was still curious to see if it was any good as I'd been really excited when I saw the trailer. For those of you who haven't seen Now You See Me, it revolves around four street magicians who are plucked from obscurity to become the Four Horsemen, a Las Vegas troupe performing incredible tricks to sell-out audiences. When they manage to rob a Parisian bank, an FBI agent and Interpol detective are suddenly hot on the twists and turns of their trail.

The first thing I have to say is the performances were absolutely amazing, particularly Jesse Eisenberg as Daniel Atlas - I haven't seen a lot of his more recent movies but he has come on absolute leaps and bounds from Adventureland, with a lot more swagger and bringing an unpredictable, almost dangerous edge to the character as well as rapidly establishing himself as the leader of the Horsemen. Mark Ruffalo also shone as Dylan Rhodes, the FBI agent in pursuit of the Horsemen, particularly in terms of his transition from being sceptical about magic to maybe, just maybe, believing that's really how they did it.

The film also did really well in terms of keeping me gripped and involved in the plot. Sometimes when I'm watching a film my mind can wander a bit and I can lose interest, or keep checking my watch, but not with this one - 40 minutes had passed in what felt like ten. It also had a lot of different layers to it which kept me wanting to see what happened next and go further into the mystery, with elements of those 'behind the magic'-type TV shows that were on a lot in the 90s (in fact Morgan Freeman plays a character whose job is doing just that) but equally not losing the sense of that being a way to dismiss things that felt too easy. And the final twist at the end was particularly satisfying, leaving me with a desire to find out what happened next, though apparently they are making a sequel which I'm very excited about!

Overall, I really liked this film - it was fast-paced, with plenty of drama and great performances. Not the most mentally challenging of movies but a fun thrill ride and a good choice for a Saturday night in or watching over the Christmas break if you fancy something a bit different from the norm. Though it is now making me want to watch The Prestige again so I can compare the two!

1 comment:

  1. I put this film on because the trailers had looked so good but I lost interest really fast because it seemed to drag to me. There were some things that were really interesting but the main story line just lost my interest very quickly