Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Director: Louis Leterrier
A set of magicians rob a bank and carry out other such grand heists right in front of their audience's eyes! Sounds exciting right?
However, much like the showy artists' tricks, critics find the film's promising thrills an illusion too.
In The Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy's words, Now You See Me "is a flashy caper pulled by a gang of magicians leaves a fleeting effect." The writer even goes on to say that the film "is a superficially diverting but substance-free concoction, a would-be thriller as evanescent as a magic trick and one that develops no suspense or rooting interest because the characters possess all the substance of invisible ink." Ouch! Looks like the plot and the characterisation just took a beating there.However, McCarthy added that the film could have done reasonably well had it not been for the heavy summer competition. Full Review
Gary Goldstein of LA Times didn't have very kind words to spare either. "There's little magic to be had from watching Now You See Me, a splashy, noisy and frankly preposterous action caper about a quartet of illusionists with a Robin Hood complex. For all the talent up on the screen — and one can't fault the performances — the movie just doesn't deliver."
Commenting on the direction, Goldstein concedes in his review, "Director Louis Leterrier (the Transporter series, the Clash of the Titans remake) keeps things moving at a quick, often dizzying pace, the better to patch over the story's ginormous holes and frequent faith-leaps." This one seems to be ridden with several plotholes.
Stephanie Merry of the Washington Post makes an interesting observation that Now You See Me has all the components required for heist movie but, "The problem is that, in focusing on what makes a good caper, director Louis Leterrier forgot about what makes a good movie: character development, carefully constructed tension and believable plot points."
Richard Corliss of Time magazine seems to corroborate Merry's observation as he too writes, "Now You See Me, which brings four brilliant magicians into collision with various cops and charlatans, nearly fools you into thinking it’s a good movie." Read review Peter Travers of Rolling Stone too, is a disappointed man as he calls the film's script a 'false promises-one'. He even writes, "It takes a certain dark magic to make the talent of a top cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman) disappear right before your eyes." Wow, no wonder Travers left the movie feeling he'd been had.
The critics seem almost unanimous in the observation that Now You See Me raises a lot of expectations but fails to deliver. While the actors seem to have done their bit, the story itself seems predictable and falls flat, on its face.
Our Verdict: If you do decide to go watch the film for its fancy antics, go with low expectations and perhaps you might just enjoy it. Or else, skip it altogether.