An international and known cast of actors, the robbery of a bank, expensive cars speeding in the middle of a big city to end up in flames… all these don’t sound like magic at all, right? However, ‘Now you see me’ has attracted audiences to the cinema like a good magician would do – and pulled a few old tricks.
I’m not talking of the special effects that, however, are the opposite of the magic David Copperfield would flash. French director Louis Leterrier can boast the experience of a Hollywood filmmaker, having directed blockbusters of the size of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ or ‘The Clash of the Titans’. But even though ‘Now you see me’ has lots of action, it also has the ingredients for a simple and innocent story that works magic.
Four magicians are drawn together by mysterious tarot cards, left by a hooded person, into an invincible team of magicians. Of course, there had to be a woman – and of course, Henley Reeves, interpreted by Isla Fisher, had to be more than the stereotyped helper of the magician. She is a readhead with a broken voice that challenges her arrogant former boss Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg). Still, Fisher’s character seems too plain compared to charming mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) or the young and talented Jack Wilder (Dave Franco – yes, you guessed, James Franco’s bother!).
The team of the Four Horsemen get famous worldwide, accompanied by their benefactor Arthur Tressler (veteran Michael Cane), when they rob a bank in France while performing in Las Vegas. The incident brings together a set of characters like Thaddeus Bradley, a magic-hunter (interpreted brilliantly by Morgan Freeman) that intends to expose them, and FBI-agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), who gets the unexpected help of a French Interpol agent, Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent).
As expected, even if the Four Horsemen’s tricks have a rational explanation, there is still some faith for the audience – and for Rhodes – to have. Agent Dray is a believer of the good of magic, legends like disappeared magician Lionel Shrike or the enigmatic and ancestral club of “The eye”. While trying to catch the Four Horsemen, always one step ahead, Dray begs the FBi agent to have her same faith, on and on, until he proves to have it.
Whether Rhodes’ faith is in magic or in love, and whether the Four Horsemen escape from them or not, it will remain a mystery until you dare going to the cinema and… letting the magic of Hollywood do the rest.