“Unleashed”, “Transporter 2” and “The Incredible Hulk”. The names mean entertainment right?. Sans Clash Of Titans, where Louis Leterrier went terribly wrong, he has been on spot for most of the while and with Now You See Me, he successfully cements his position as one of the most prolific entertainers of our times. Entertainment at all times may not mean logic and here in lies of the best examples of how intelligent and polished execution is able to nullify the disintegrating effects of absurdity. I read many reviews ridiculing the lack of sanity for this film and then I asked myself. Hey!! Isnt this a film about four magicians who willfully rob banks and clear-out accounts of their own benefactors? What’s sane about that? Thus I concluded that the people who were looking for logic in this movie must have crash landed for the screening as this isn’t a film to look for logic in.
Four anonymous illusionists J.Daniel Atlas(Jesse Eisenberg) , Merritt McKinney(Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves(Isla Fisher), Jack Wilder(Dave Franco) are summoned by what the magic fraternity knows only as the all seeing eye to a depleted apartment where they lay their hands on the blueprints of a magic show. One year later the four magicians hold their first act of three in Las Vegas and while performing, rob a bank in Paris and channel the money on to the show and shower it on the audience. The unthinkable come to light soon and the FBI is hot on their trails with agent Dylan Rhodes(Mark Ruffalo) aided by an Interpol agent Alma Dray(Mélanie Laurent) tries to stop the Four Horsemen from repeating their act. Inspite of their best efforts, the Four Horsemen strike again and this time rob their own benefactor, again distributing the loot among the audience. Dylan and Alma soon realize that the acts of the four Horsemen may be connected and have something to do with a greater plan that they might be hatching. What follows is a cat and mouse game which pits the intellect and guile of the FBI against that of the spirited Horsemen. What is left to be seen is who wins?
Just like a magic show works only when all the solo acts gel up together to give a compounded effect, Now You See Me, puts together individual set pieces with great verve and energy making it not only entertaining but also intelligent. The intelligence that I refer to here is primarily used to cover up for that matter disguise the lack of any sense and sometimes absurdity. The film moves at such a fast pace that just like the magician is able to divert the audience’s attention from the place where the actual illusion is happening, the director is able to keep the audience’s attention and interest exactly where he wants it to and thus avoids many glaring questions. Once you are able to ignore, the film’ p[principal flaws, it’s a joy ride for you till the end.
The film is beautifully filmed and some of the sequences look so pretty that you feel like watching them over and over again. The three acts of the Horsemen deserve a special mention. The performances add glitter to an already interesting story. Mark Ruffalo’s FBI agent act is extremely likeable. He is so haplessly outmaneuvered by his own “I know it all attitude” as also the superior intellect of the Horsemen that after a while you start feeling bad for his character. His simmering love hate relationship with Mélanie Laurent results in some of the cutest scenes of the film. I just loved their chemistry. Jesse Eisenberg as the fast talking control freak Atlas is apt. He is however outclassed by Woody Harrelson who looks supremely confident and comfortable in a role which required a wicked sense of humor along with a tinge of insanity to work. Dave Franco does his bit well. Isla Fisher looks pretty and acts well too. Mélanie Laurent is my pick of the lot. She has come a long way since her act in Inglorious Basterds which really caught my attention. Here she plays a quirky and charming Interpol agent who doesn’t mind a decent laugh at his own colleague’s inefficiency. Her scenes with Ruffalo is bound to strike a chord with the audiences. mOrgan Freeman does what he does best.
Overall, Now You See Me is an endearing and entertaining watch. For those who are willing to look beyond the obvious flaws, it hold solid entertainment value. Dont look for reason. Look for entertainment and you are guranteed to come out of it happy.