Now You See Me (M)
THE CLOSER you look, the less you see. A concept that plays on the perception we read too much into a situation, overthinking unnecessarily to solve a problem. It’s an interesting analogy applicable to many things in life, and as a running motif in this film from Louis Letterier becomes something of an epiphany.
The mystery of the unknown is something that enraptures humans as we believe there is something greater than our own existence. Much of that curiosity is satisfied in the simplest of ways by people who try to make us believe they can dance on the rope between what is real and fantastical.
We really want to reassure ourselves these people are the real deal. And some do take their act to a heightened level for your amazement. But there are those who exploit people for their own benefit, or perhaps for what they think is the greater good.
Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco) don’t know what their greater good is. But from their work as street performers, they know believing is their best chance at success.
A year after they were brought together by an unknown enterprise, their game has reached Las Vegas as quartet The Four Horsemen. In front of a live audience at their first show, they rob the regular local bank of a Parisian tourist.
Sceptic Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman) is in the crowd, and is called up by the FBI to help agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). While he refuses to help them, Dylan is assisted by French Interpol agent Alma (Melanie Laurent). They find out along the way the first display was part of a bigger plan.
The smart script by writers Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt continually raises doubt about who is trustworthy.
Everyone is being played in the game of perfecting the big crime, just as when we watch a trick.
The story moves quickly as the team progress with their plan and the authorities fall behind in their attempts to catch them. It’s no surprise really, when they have, as they say, nothing up their sleeve to battle the likes of these guys.
Why the Four Horsemen do what they do is not explained as the plot thickens, and you can’t help but question whether their leap of faith is out of desperation.
There are small instances where their bond from completing the task is evident, but otherwise the team come across as smooth operators.
Eisenberg plays the cunning ringleader with attitude similar to that in his breakthrough role in The Social Network. ‘
Harrelson is amusing as a mentalist with a bit of cheek, while Fisher and Franco are somewhat relegated to taking a backseat. Ruffalo has the most to contend with as Dylan faces opposition and uncertainty.
Letterier presents the story well, handling the twists in the script with deft care. The magic continues to the final act, where all is revealed. Or is it?
Now screening at Reading Cinemas