Now You See Me is very much a Louis Leterrier film in the sense that it is a silly, flashy, and goofy kind of movie. Unfortunately this over-the-top style does not make up for the lack of substance.

Now You See Me is very much a Louis Leterrier film in the sense that it is a silly, flashy, and goofy kind of movie. Unfortunately this over-the-top style does not make up for the lack of substance.

The film begins as four talented magicians team up under the guidance of an unknown benefactor. The “Four Horsemen” consists of J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley (Isla Fisher), Merrit (Woody Harrelson), and Jack (Dave Franco). All have unique talents as illusionists. Not only do they use their skills to put on fantastic shows, they also pull off heists as tricks in their act. However, this does not escape the notice of the FBI or Interpol, as two of their agents (Mark Ruffalo and Mélanie Laurent) do their best to investigate these crimes.

Now You See Me is a fun but problematic film. There is a serious lack of tension throughout. Most caper films create tension through a robber’s ability to successfully complete and get away with their crime, but that issue is never a major concern in Now You See Me. It is made very clear that the magicians are so talented that law enforcement will not be able to thwart them. The plot’s momentum really comes from how the Four Horseman’s tricks unfold and who else could be a conspirator in their heists.

This film is also very fast paced and so wrapped up in the clever tricks being pulled that proper character development seems to have been forgotten. Over time less and less is seen of the Four Horsemen interacting with each other. Jack has his own ‘coming of age’ subplot while Atlas and Henley get back together, but it’s easy to miss as they’re only mentioned in passing. It leaves the feeling that the filmmakers are tricking the audience using the flash and pomp of the magician’s skills to hide the fact that there’s little of a real story here.

Despite these issues, the film does have its moments. Those looking for something fun and lighthearted will enjoy Now You See Me for what it does have to offer, but you may find that the closer you look into this film the less there is to see.

Rating: PG 13; running time: 116 minutes

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