Over the years, film-makers mastered the art of crafting a fine template for a HEIST movie. Enthrall the audience with witty dialogue, bring them to the edge of their seats with some intelligent crime, and finally blow them off the seats with an unimaginable twist. You have to concoct all the three elements with precision and there’s the right dose of entertainment.
Now You See Me follows the aforesaid approach and double checks to place all the required elements. It gets most of them right and delivers a taut screenplay, but it falls short in building the characters and constructing a make-believe plot.
Director Louis Leterrier (of The Transporter and Transporter 2) follows an approach that’s cross-over of high-budgeted and low-budgeted films. Barring a car chase and some cat and mouse chases, the film is not heavy on action. Yet it’s fast paced and at times gives you some WOW moments.
The high-energy narrative flow and the high on tempo musical score shadows some obvious flaws in the screenplay. With a runtime of nearly two hours it manages to engage the audience with the events, but may not be with the characters. Few letdowns creep into the narration but they stay only for a while like passing clouds.
The film opens with an Ocean’s Eleven-ish introduction of the characters – a card trick pro, a mentalist, a conman, and an escape artist. They are brought together by an anonymous person for a large scale deception that’s spread across three acts. After a year the quartet appears as 'Four Horsemen' in Las Vegas for their first act. Then the movie shifts gears to an FBI agent and his partner who try to chase these magicians and put an end to the proceedings. There’s a debunker and television personality who tells the audience how the four horsemen pulled off their illusion-fueled stunts.
Now You See Me is more like a journey of the characters together rather than a movie with some clear objective. The twist in the climax fails to excite and the motive behind all the acts and the heist makes you rack your brains. The screenplay connects a lot of dots at the drop of the hat but that’s not something novel. The third and final act surfaces as the weakness. It couldn’t carry the momentum given by the preceding ones. But on the whole the movie doesn’t fail to impress. The riveting experience stays with you and doesn’t play hide and seek.
Of all the actors, Jesse Eisenberg’s performance can be termed the best. Woody Harrelson is also quite good. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman lend remarkable depth to the film. Mark Ruffalo does what is expected from him. He’s always seen tracking the moves of the horsemen and sometimes taking lessons from Freeman.
Now You See Me is a serious take on prestidigitation. The underlying message to all magicians is that if they want to stay long and go strong in the business they have to take deception to the next level. Big stunts get you big names. So, pull up your socks and up your ante. One thing is for sure – any trick won’t put off this entertainer from the cinemas soon. Thus it provides wholesome entertainment and acts as a perfect stop-gap between Fast and Furious 6 and Man of Steel.view less