So, my life is not all about kids magic – I do get a bit of time to myself. A week or so ago I pottered over to the Showcase cinema in Nottingham to watch an advance screening of Now You See Me starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher.
These were in turn supported by two heavyweights in the world of Hollywood – Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. This was the 4th film that Freeman and Caine had starred together, but the first time outside of the Nolan Batman trilogy.
The movie opens with a card trick which I myself perform on occasion and was popularised by David Blaine in his street magic specials. This underpinned the movies’ catchphrase of “The closer you look the less you see” Unfortunately, as a magician I was looking and watching an unfortunately despite having David Kwong as the magic consultant some of the tricks and effects produced in this show left even non-magician’s questioning the movie’s believability. For example undoing yourself from handcuffs and putting them on the officer conducting the police interview in the blink of an eye left me a bit dead and worried for the rest of the movie. Even with ‘hand doubles’ of card manipulator’s Dan and Dave Buck and even with other world class magicians offering guidance, it was difficult to understand what magic was actually learned and re-produced in the show.
Maybe I am being too critical. This is a film for people not with a love of magic but the thrill of Hollywood and all of its glitz and glamour. It produced this in abundance but I felt as though I had seen better, a lot better.
The story itself is based around 4 magicians who are brought together with a mysterious tarot calling card. Fast forward a year and they are re-branded as ‘The Four Horsemen’ and showcasing in their own headline Las Vegas shows pulling off elaborate stage illusions which see them robbing banks under the guise of magic and illusion. The FBI try and work out how they do their illusions, or more importantly their thefts, and the whole thing is watched over by a modern day – James Randi or illusion exposer – Thaddeus Bradley played by Morgan Freeman. The movie meanders from trick to trick and one illusion sees them stealing $140 million dollars from their ‘managers’ bank account and letting it fall down over their packed arena audience.
Without revealing the ending, the 4 horsemen prove their worth to use a key card each to reveal the secret as to who is behind all of the illusions, financing. It’s a fun movie, but didn’t leave me wanting more. However, I am not the voice of the masses at the beginning of August 2013, Lionsgate CEO officially confirmed that there would be a sequel to the film which would start production in 2014.
My overall score was 6/10 and whilst not for me, is a nice movie if you wanted to take you brain out for 1.5 hours and chomp your way through a monster tub of popcorn or in my case a couple of scoops of Ben and Jerry’s which incidentally I gave a very conservative 8/10. The closer I looked, the more cherry bits I could see……