Four magicians, each with different talents are recruited by a mysterious benefactor. A year later, at a show in Las Vegas, the magicians (now known as ‘The Four Horsemen’) successfully rob a bank in France and give all of the money to the audience. They are arrested but, with no evidence against them, the police are forced to release them. Lead FBI investigator, Dylan Rhodes, becomes obsessed with catching them and goes to famous magic debunker, Thaddeus Bradley, for help. With their shows becoming more and more popular and the four magicians building up to a final, major event, Rhodes must catch them and get to the bottom of who is pulling the strings before ‘The Four Horsemen’ disappear forever.

Now You See Me (2013) – Director: Louis Leterrier

Is Now You See Me appropriate for kids

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 115 mins

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Heist

REVIEW

Now You See Me’ has a lot of style going for it. By playing into the ever enticing ‘heist’ style it knows that by setting up supposedly impossible tricks, and then showing us the increasingly unlikely ways they were done, there is going to be a core appeal that will sucker audiences in. However, all this sleight of hand is possibly best described as fun but shallow.

Now You See Me‘ is certainly a crowd pleaser but there is little in terms of depth and it’s a movie which leaves you wanting more. The twists and turns of the plot are easy to follow and the stunts are ok but are often completely unbelievable and far-fetched. While most of the tricks are pretty easy to understand, some rely too heavily on magic being ‘real’ (i.e. no real explanation given for the intricate coincidences that allow the trick to happen) despite all the dialogue going against this idea. Also, as many of the stunts rely on camera trickery, the effect of them soon diminishes as the intelligence behind them is lacking any depth to provide a satisfying punch to what is being seen.

Jesse Eisenberg takes a step away from his usual awkward persona to be an overly self-confident and arrogant member of ‘The Four Horsemen’. Sadly this makes him a rather unlikeable lead for the film. Isla Fisher is little more than ‘the girl’ of the foursome, despite having an interesting introduction as a Houdini-style escape artist. Woody Harrelson’s mentalism tricks are virtually superhuman and Dave Franco’s sleight of hand talents are barely used apart from a fun but ultimately unrealistic confrontation in an apartment building. Overall, ‘Now You See Me’ ticks all the boxes for a light-hearted, throw away movie but does not do enough to compete with more classic heist movies, such as ‘Oceans 11’.

IS ‘NOW YOU SEE ME’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The opening scenes where the four main characters are being introduced are likely to be a good indicator of whether ‘Now You See Me’ is appropriate for kids. One character tries to escape from a tank which is about to be filled with piranhas. They are unable to get out in time and when the piranhas are released, she screams for help but the water quickly turns red. The audience scream in horror but it soon turns out that this was part of the trick as the character is revealed to be alive and well. Another character is about to become intimate with a woman. He removes her top to show her bra and there is some innuendo of what ‘tricks’ he can perform. After some kissing, he stops and tells her disrespectfully to leave which she does angrily.

One character shows an interest in sleeping with a woman which she identifies as ‘an offer of cheap and meaningless sex’, he then tells her ‘meaningless maybe, but not time consuming’.  There are also jokes about ‘Tranny Tuesday’ and masturbation. When finding out which tarot cards relate to them, a male character says ‘I’m the lover’. A female character responds to this by coughing and saying ‘3 minutes’ under her breath. Later in the movie, while flicking through an old book about magic, there is a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ drawn image of a topless woman before the page is turned.

During a fight sequence, several punches are thrown and one character has the sleeves of his jacket pushed into a garbage disposal unit which is then turned on. He struggles to get free and starts to panic, asking for another character to help him. Ultimately he is unharmed. During this fight, one character uses a belt to hit his opponent in the face with the buckle. One character crashes his car on a busy road. Although another character tries desperately to save him, they have to leave him when the car explodes.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

While it has many flaws, ‘Now You See Me’ is full of spectacle and energy which is very entertaining. Although the movie is bound to be enjoyed by kids, the amount of bad language is likely to be the deciding factor for many parents and therefore we feel that this movie is not suitable for kids under 10.

  • Violence:  2/5
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a major character is killed and the accompanying score makes this quite sad)
  • Fear Factor: 0/5
  • Sexual Content: 3/5       
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (frequent moderate cursing and blasphemy. One use of a strong word)
  • Dialogue: 2/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of magic and illusions, Robin Hood style revenge, betrayal, criminal activity and justice.

Words by Mike Record

Now You See Me [Blu-ray]


New From: £3.12 GBP In Stock

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