Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Now You See Me is a con-trick. As a moviegoer, one tends to enjoy being tricked, but not being conned. Of course, a magic-themed thriller such as this would be conning us all if it wasn't heading towards one fancy big twist in the closing moments - indeed, this film is comprised less of a straightforward plot than a series of twists, turns and about-faces, all of which you certainly will see coming. But it's no trick when we're expecting it all along. It's just a con. A 'Big Reveal', an answer to a question we were already asking, rather than a question we didn't realise we ought to be asking. And, in this case, there are only so many answers, so as red herring after MacGuffin are ruled out, we're left with a pretty small list of suspects. This most generic of films revolves around four magicians of varying degrees of smugness - this is believable, that they are worldwide superstars is not. Magic may be impressive, but it's not cool, and it also doesn't work when we know how it's faked. And not only does Now You See Me reveal the tricks in these magicians' trade, by nature as a fictional film it is obviously, necessarily fake. Would that all magicians had the aid of post-production technology during their live shows. Louis Leterrier is hired by studios to helm projects which they have deemed beyond saving, because no screenplay that involves superfluous car chases, unintentionally parodic explosions and nonsensical romance is. He succeeds in making this silly film as generic as it asked to be. A notable ensemble of actors plays irritating and/or commonplace characters, and not one of them even tries. I can't blame them.