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Rated 3 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Daring Riddle
by Richard Jack Smith

Not a single character in Now You See Me holds a definable personality trait. However, director Louis Leterrier succeeds in holding our interest with an array of dazzling red herrings. The film opens strong with a neat card trick and a spot of hypnosis which fans of Paul McKenna should relish.
Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco are illusionists brought together to pull off the ultimate feat of magic: a bank robbery. In Las Vegas, they amaze people with their ability to teleport millions of dollars into the arena from a vault in Paris. Naturally, this arouses the curiosity of the authorities. So FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) teams up with ex-magician Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) in order to expose any misdirection or wrongdoing.
Viewers can react to Now You See Me in two ways: scepticism or astonishment. There may be too much razzle-dazzle distracting the eye from a desperately thin plot. On the other hand, I feel intrigued by the sleight of hand on display here. Therefore, a second or third viewing seems necessary as a way of uncovering extra nuances. In fact, thinking about the film afterwards reveals a kind of Sixth Sense logic. Various story progressions will be inevitable, yet there are more clues lying in wait besides the central mystery.
Films such as The Illusionist and Now You See Me dare to be a little different from the norm. Audiences are invited to share in the line of enquiry, questioning what they see and coming to individual conclusions. Working out what's real or fake means looking closer at the little picture. Overall, the ability to tantalise with a modicum of effort deserves some credit and storytellers longing for encouragement in their art needn't worry if the first screening raises a few eyebrows. 


(Released by Lionsgate Films and rated "PG-13" by MPAA.)

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