All is Not What It Seems in “Now You See Me”
“Now You See Me” is the cleverest, smartest film I have seen so far in 2013. This offbeat heist flick is directed by
France’s Louis Leterrier
(“Transporter,” “Clash of Titans”) and written by Ed Solomon (“Men in Black,”
“Bill & Ted’s Adventures”) and Boaz Yakin, who also produces.
The script is essential in a complex story that hinges on magic tricks and illusions, performed by a group known as The Four Horsemen.
“The closer you look, the less you see,” warns Horseman Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), whose specialty is misdirection. Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) is Atlas’ former assistant, love interest and escape artist. Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) is a mentalist whose specialty is shaking down victims with embarrassing personal information.
The four illusionists are called together by a literally shadowy figure to perform four increasingly spectacular tricks involving stealing money from bank vaults and showering the audience with the proceeds, Robin Hood-style.
The first stunt is performed onstage at MGM Grand Hotel in
Las Vegas but the booty is spirited from a bank vault in Paris. How did they do
Pondering this same question is comically irritable FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), calm Interpol agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) and magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Watching the show with detached bemusement is insurance mogul Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine).
“Now You See Me” is a cat and mouse game played from
Las Vegas to New Orleans to
New York City.
Remember the initial admonition “the closer you look the less you see,” because
the plot has a giant end twist I wager few will anticipate.
As an alternative to the usual car-chase, big-bang, fly-around summer adventure, “Now You See Me’ is a thinking person’s summer romp. Just don’t think too hard.