Now You See Me
Length: 115 minutes / 1.92 hours
The key to a great heist film comes in three stages: the pledge, the turn, and the prestige. Wait, that’s the key to a great magician’s illusion. Actually, here’s the real trick: both are very similar in structure. Each requires a setup of events which lead to an amazing reveal, followed by an explanation of how the heist/illusion was performed. In Now You See Me (2013), both the heist and magician genres are found to be so closely related that it was nice to see them meld together so well.
In a page ripped straight from Robin Hood, the main characters justify their thievery by stating that their actions are to right the wrongs done to the general public. Of course, when a movie uses CGI to enhance the magic of the actors, it’s just that much more fun to see how they are able to pull off each heist using their skills as magicians. A successful magic act relies a lot on the stage presence of its magician, and the comedy of the “Four Horsemen” certainly helps the levity of the film remain high, even during moments of doubt.
Part of me is a little surprised it has taken this long to combine the heist and magician genres. Sure, there were more character-motivated magician movies like The Illusionist (2006) and The Prestige (2006), but neither of them had the heist angle that Now You See Me does. Plus, with modern technology making traditional magic more difficult to fool an audience, the more advanced magic of the Four Horsemen made this film just that much more enjoyable.
A film full of flash and fun and the requisite number of twists, I give Now You See Me 4.0 stars out of 5.