Saturday 22 June 2013

Review: Now You See Me (spoiler-free)

World of Blackout Film Review

Now You See Me Poster

Now You See Me (Spoiler-free)
Cert: 12A / 116 mins / Dir. Louis Leterrier

Snazzy, slick and with a definite lack of substance, Now You See Me is the perfect embodiment of the Vegas magic show. That's not to say it isn't damned entertaining, but that's its job; bedazzle, befuddle and bewitch.

For such a low-key release (although at this time of year, anything without superheroes is low-key), it's got one hell of a cast. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine never stray too far from autopilot, but they're perfect for these roles. I can't say the same for Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Mélanie Laurent, if only because I've seen them in far fewer films, but there are some very credible performances here when you consider how fanciful the storyline is.

Despite the showbiz front of the protagonists, it's really just a good old-fashioned heist movie. Rather than create a complex, sprawling story which needs half an hour to explain in the last act, we get Morgan Freeman repeatedly popping up to debunk each 'trick' the heroes pull off. And heroes, they are; they may be committing fraud/robbery, but you're never in any doubt as to who the good guys are. That said, the gang's various nemeses are all fairly amiable too, and the absence of any clearly 'dislikeable' characters allows a comfortable number of twists in motivation, if not in story.

Try and avoid spoilers for this one, the crux of the movie lies in the first viewing. There'll be a temptation to try and second-guess Now You See Me, and when those twists come they're not exactly gut-punches, so just sit back and enjoy the show that's been put on for you. Let it unwind in its own time, and it's hugely entertaining.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Pretty much.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It'll work on DVD, but it's made to be watched big..

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not that I heard, but I may have missed it.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
What's your favourite heist-movie, old or new?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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