Now You See Me (2013)

I hadn't seen Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson together since Zombieland. I hadn't seen Mark Ruffalo since his middle of the road job as Bruce Banner in The Avengers. I last saw Dave Franco in Warm Bodies. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman may as well have walked together from the set of The Dark Knight Rises.

In this movie, a mysterious stranger gives four struggling magicians some grand scheme to It's never quite clear what the whole plan is. And it is Mark Ruffalo's job as a cop to figure out how they are breaking the law and bring them to justice. He gets a French woman from Interpol to help him out and eventually enlists the aging magician Morgan Freemen, who he never fully trusts. Michael Caine is their benefactor who eventually turns on them when they turn on him.

The whole movie is all about redirection and misdirection. The idea is to not give the viewer enough information to come to any kind of conclusion either way. And, for the most part, they succeed. The idea that Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had was to give the reader/viewer enough information to work things out on their own, but to string it together after the hero had solved everything. Not so with modern mysteries; they simply withhold vital information to ensure that you won't figure anything out.

That said, the acting was pretty good overall. Even Mark Ruffalo, who I didn't have any expectations for, was pretty good. The storyline, once I figured out not to try to solve the puzzle without all of the pieces, was decent enough. The four magicians keep doing off-the-wall things that don't make sense until someone puts them in perspective with information that we don't have. Things are made worse by the fact that they perform magic on stage that is clearly faked for the screen with CG - so, we have no idea if we are supposed to believe that they can do "real" magic or not.

Acting was good.
Cinematography was good.
Direction was decent.
Story was okay, if you didn't think too much about it.
Dialogue was a bit of a mixed bag.



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