And for my next trip, I will not only make 2 hours of your life disappear, I will make it seem even longer! MAGIC!!
Huh… I should’ve followed my instincts on this one, I’m not a magic fan. I mean magic tricks – I’m all over supernatural stuff (though the trailer for “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is testing that theory) – but your typical magic tricks just annoy me. Of course we know it’s all fake, and I can’t let go of that. I watch Derren Brown doing his close-up magic with audience members and assume everyone is a plant. Yes I suck the fun out of it, I can’t help it, I’m not impressed.
Against my better judgement I went to see “Now you see me”. It follows a quickly-formed quartet of jobbing solo magicians: Smug prick Jesse Eisenberg (playing a smug prick magician), Isla Fisher as a 2D hottie breaking up the sausage-fest of the rest of the cast, Dave Franco (James’s hot brother) using up valuable oxygen and Woody Harrelson as a smug hypnotist. After being recruited by a mysterious character, they meet at a mysterious apartment and THAT’S THE BACKSTORY. 1 year later they are opening a massive show in Vegas and pulling off a ridiculous stunt that gets Interpol and the FBI involved.
Mark Ruffalo’s grumpy FBI office grudgingly teams up with a beautiful French Interpol agent played by Mélanie Laurent (aka her off of Inglourious Basterds). Oh BLAH BLAH BLAH, things keep happening, exciting magic tracks that take as long to get around to actually HAPPENING as it for ultimate smuggo Morgan Freeman to explain them.
They aren’t clever solutions, just convoluted and preposterous. I don’t go “ooh that’s clever”, I go “oh of course there’s a fucking giant mirror that they can just install like it’s nothing”. The characters are wafer thin, the plot is smoke and mirrors and cliches upon cliches. By the end I just wanted to know what happened so I could leave.
The effects were good, though they did rather carried away with some stunts that weren’t explained but just looked nice. I don’t know. It wasn’t the worst film I’ve seen, but I expected more of it. The ending … well I’m not going to say anything. But I mean there’s a difference between a clever explanation that was hidden in plain sight for the viewer if they resisted all the misdirection, and dumping a load of undisclosed information at the end and saying “Ahhh you see?”. Load of old toot! Watch this at your own risk to your brain.
At least the two cackling harridans sitting next to me (not my friends, I hasten to add) were enjoying themselves. They hooted their way through all sorts of minor bits of dialogue, cackled manically if there was any attempt at a joke, and just conducted themselves like the terrifyingly un-self-aware, dot-brained cretins they were. Huff…