50. Now You See Me (PG-13) - Runtime: 115 minutes
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman
Director: Louis Leterrier
Well, this was a surprise! I wrote in my preview that this filmed screamed DOUCHEBAG and while I can't help but think that word every time Jesse Eisenberg smirks, this film was simply entertaining. I enjoy movies where the tricks (I mean, illusions) are part of the mystery and here the smoke and mirrors take center stage.
The film starts out simple enough - four talented, but under-appreciated illusionists are recruited by a shadowy figure to stage a very elaborate magic show that gets them in trouble with the Feds because they stole some money. Hot on their heels is Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) an FBI agent who is always three steps behind. He enlists the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman), an ex-magician who exposes other magicians as charlatans and grifters. The film mainly follows Rhodes as he tries to figure out how these four horsemen (as they call themselves) robbed a bank in France while in Vegas. It's a great set up and it's expertly paced and edited so that there's never a dull moment.
And the acting is fantastic - every horseman has a great introduction and each one has their own personality - they're all perfect including Isla Fisher and Dave Franco. Freeman and Caine bring a certain gravitas to the roles and the film is better off because of it. And Ruffalo - who seems to be hitting his stride lately - nails it as the lovable goof who can't quite seem to get a grasp of what's happening. Near the end, I said to myself, "Poor Mark Ruffalo, it's not your fault they got away!"
And the twist ending was satisfying! I'm so relieved because this movie lives and dies by its ending. The only problems I really had with the movie was some of the magic being performed was completely unrealistic - Isla Fisher jumps into a giant bubble and floats around, Eisenberg somehow manages to transport the handcuffs and chains from himself to Ruffalo. But the ending satisfies that logical itch of mine by explaining, frankly - it's all just magic! So I bought what they were selling and the movie is wholly satisfying.
Rating: See It!