“Now You See Me” Movie Review

now-you-see-me-posterBy Victoria Alexander, Film Critic

Las Vegas Informer

A messy magic act dominated by Eisenberg who once again shows off his amazing skill at memorizing long monologues.

Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas dominates his co-stars by hogging all the psychic air out of scenes. While I didn’t expect to see Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves and Dave Franco as Jack Wilder trying to wrestle the attention off show-boating Eisenberg, I was surprised that veteran Woody Harrelson took the role of by-stander Merritt McKinney.

Did Harrelson have some soon-to-expire Bellagio buffet coupons?

After being mysteriously financed, four street magicians with special talents, Atlas (card tricks), Reeves (Mistress of Misdirection), Wilder (street hustler) and McKinney (mentalist), are brought together to build a sensational act called The Four Horsemen. Half way through the movie, they lose one of the Horsemen. Guess which one goes?

Now You See Me 2The screenplay from Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt is a mess. Makes you wonder how many other writers were brought in. There is not one strong, cohesive story. I couldn’t find a villain, an obstacle, jealousy or a moral dilemma. Where was the danger?

The Four Horsemen become world famous when they take a random Frenchman out of the audience and have him teleported to a Paris bank vault. When he returns to the Las Vegas stage, he “makes it rain” (rappers do this at strip clubs) with three million euros falling on the audience. Have you ever seen audience members stomp each other into the ER when a radio DJ starts throwing T-shirts into the crowd?

Now You See Me 3Clearly, Las Vegas tourists have no idea what they can do with sky falling euros.

The Four Horsemen walk away bare-handed from the stage because they are (a) socialists, (b) Buddhist magicians, or (c) performance artists who shun money. But Interpol and the FBI are not amused. Interpol sends French officer Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) to team up with FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). How was the money taken? Where is the money?

Now You See Me 4I think the hotel-casino should be liable for the three million euros. Stolen money was distributed in their establishment. I started to think about these logical steps when the Horsemen “sort of” tried to explain the illusion.

The Four Horsemen are all smug. There is not one interesting character in the movie. Everyone is overshadowed by Eisenberg – who always plays “smug.”

Now You See Me 5Victoria Alexander is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org/ and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/. Victoria’s weekly column, “The Devil’s Hammer,” is posted every Monday. http://www.fromthebalcony.com/editorials.php.

If you would like to be included on Victoria’s private distribution list for a weekly preview, just email her at masauu@aol.com. Victoria lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email. You can contact Victoria directly at masauu@aol.com.

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