Is it possible for a movie to be too clever? Now You See Me may be just such a movie. It has a complex and lightning-fast plot. It has likable characters, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody from Zombieland, the Hulk guy, Morgan Freeman, and Dave Franco (from the McGreatest movie of all time, Superbad.) Plus, it has magic. What else could you want?
It should be a great movie and yet it’s not. It’s like a magic trick that’s gone on too long. It’s a movie that relies so much on sleight of hand gimmicks and ‘oh look over there’ moments that someone forgot to work hard on the characters themselves.
So here’s the plot. An FBI agent joins forces with a super-hot Interpol agent and try to stop a group of magicians from committing some pretty cool heists.
The problem is… whose story is this? I wanted it to be the magicians’ story. Yet we spend more time the law enforcers and they are constantly behind the eight ball. Hell, we could have followed Morgan Freeman as a magic-debunker but no, we rush from scene to scene following the agents yet not wanting law and order to win. Hey I was rooting for the plucky magicians.
Something’s wrong with this picture.
And the more you peer behind the curtain, the more the movie falls apart. The magic becomes less and less believable. The stunts they pull off more and more impossible. And the final twist at the end should have been amazing, but instead I shrugged, wished I’d ordered a bucket of buttery popcorn and wondered if the Superman movie would be any good?
So, if one night when the movie appears on cable and you’ve seen Game of Thrones for the 10th time and you wonder what to watch, give this one a try.
But not before then. Even if Michael Caine is in it.
Now to get me some buttery popcorn.