Now You See Me is a mystery thriller directed by Louis Leterrier, about a group of illusionists who pull of bank heists and give out the money they take to people, the film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine.
The film works with a fun premise to craft an interesting heist thriller type film with a difference, the difference being the element of magic and illusion, though the film makes a point of making you question what’s going on and how the group carry out their illusions. And in that, there’s a great sense of mystery and intrigue as FBI agents Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) both don’t know how the illusionists pull of their heists but still pursue them anyway, their performances in particular are both good, with Ruffalo portraying a frustrated but dedicated agent quite well.
While Laurent is the more open minded agent, she also wants to get the job done but isn’t as intense as Ruffalo, the illusionists are an interesting group of characters, interacting in an interesting way with some good dialogue and they all have distinct but not necessarily that memorable aside from J Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt Mckinney (Woody Harrelson) and Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher). Dave Franco also gives a decent performance as Jack Wilder but not on the level of some of the other cast, not forgetting Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, who are also great in the film with Caine serving as a point of exposition at points which is a bit cliché but hey, it’s exposition from Michael Caine.
There are some pretty slick and cool scenes in the plot playing up the characters with them showing off their craft, these are well done and often smart scenes with some great dialogue as the film on the whole is quite well written, the writing pays off as the film progresses and twists and turns arise adding to the story itself and making it more than just a game of cat and mouse between the FBI and the illusionists.
Now You See Me has some great visual effects which work in tandem with the illusions that the group pull off, we see things and people vanish and seemingly impossible things happen and the feeling of spectacle of watching a group of talented magicians comes across, as if the film itself is one big magic show. The plot does a good job of convincing you that you’re watching talented professionals do their thing but this might also be a weak point for the film as you are essentially watching and possibly rooting for criminals, they’re actually likeable and fun characters but they are stealing money after all.
And for some, this may distance you from the characters and not allow you to be really invested in the characters but that being said, the plot is still fun and light hearted, capturing feeling of an old school heist thriller but with a twist, the plot is engaging throughout and ends in a way you might not expect.
. Has some great writing/dialogue
. Fun, engaging plot
. Ending may feel a bit shoehorned in