I see you… For being a pretty decent movie.
I didn’t get to see Man of Steel this week! Sad day. But then I remembered I watched Now You See Me, and I haven’t done a review on that yet. So I figure this is a better time than any other.
The movie is about Four Horsemen- a four magicians act in Las Vegas with Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henely Reeves (Isal Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). They are a successful, and very popular act who begin to pull of seemingly unbelievable heist that got FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo)’s attention, with the help of Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent). The movie also features Michael Caine as the tycoon Arthur Tressler who is victimized by the Horsemen, and Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, a former magician-turned mythbuster who is giving out advice for FBI to track down the Four Horsemen. While trying to figure out how the Horsemen pulled the heist, Rhodes also has to figure out who the mysterious 5th Horseman is.
The movie sets up grand, and tremendous moments, but things fall short soon after. The first magic acts sets up this awesome teleportation machine that comes out the pages of The Prestige. While it might be one of the coolest moment is the movie, it soon deflated with the most logical, but plainest explanation ever. The second act was actually quite impressive, but when it comes to the final act I no longer care anymore, and there’s only fancy camera angles left behind.
The second magic trick really is impressive though. The Horsemen steal money from the corrupt insurance company run by Caine’s character and give them out to the hurricane victims. While how they find out how much the insurance company owned the victims individually is a mystery, the magic act is really something else and it gets the audience cheering. Also, the set up from the beginning of the magic act is awesome when it finally plays out in the end.
In a movie full of famous characters, Dave Franco, James Franco’s younger brother, is not as well-recognized as the others. However, it doesn’t stop him from having one of the most recognizable roles in the movie. The apartment scene he shares with Ruffalo’s character is superb and easily my favorite scene in the whole movie. Who knows magicians can be such great fighters?
At the same time, all the other Horsemen are just flat. Eisenberg’s character is especially lame in the movie, and it’s almost like watching his pretentious character from Social Network without him accomplishing anything at all. Seriously though, I don’t know why half of these characters are in the group. Franco’s character is fast with his hand, Harrelson’s character is a hypnotist, but I don’t know why Eisenberg and Fisher’s characters’ purpose are. A pretty face and a condescending asshole? I guess every team needs a Fred and Daphne.
Also, I really thought Agent Alma Dray is going to be the fifth Horseman. They’re so many scenes that can justify Dray being the fifth Horseman, including the chase scene where she lets Eisenberg’s character go. I was so going to argue she’s not chasing him, but merely running with him. But I guess that’s too on the nose.
The final revelation who’s the true fifth Horseman is bizarre, and doesn’t quite make sense. The movie enjoys doing things that they think is clever, but just tun out to be flimsy at the end. It just doesn’t make sense that Ruffalo’s character will be the one behind everything, and my originally guess makes more sense. It almost feels like the writer realizes that having Agent Dray as the true culprit will be too on the nose, so they decide to change it to someone else in the last minute, but it just doesn’t make one sense anymore.
Despite all the flaws, the movie is entertaining enough to sit through for 115 minutes. However, it might just be me because I’m a big fan of magicians and tricks.