Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me is the latest sleeper hit to surprise the audiences with more than a hat full of magic tricks. It’s a slick and fast crime caper that plays out in ordinary fashion. While the quick pacing and smooth core cast makes for an amusing watch, the film unfortunately suffers from a disastrous ending that leaves the whole thing feeling like nothing more than a cheap magic trick. Now You See Me is 3/4th’s a good film, weighed down heavily by a crumbling third act that absolutely crushes all of the movie’s good graces laid out beforehand.
J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) are all magicians that have had varying success. One day, the four of them are mysteriously brought together to form a group called The Four Horsemen. They don’t know exactly why they’re been brought together, yet they keep with it in hopes of eventually discovering an age-old secret that could turn them into the most memorable magicians of their time.
Meanwhile, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) are two government officials assigned to track down the Horsemen and stop them before they pull off another magic-fused heist.
Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me is a fast-paced crime caper that plays to all crowds with varying results. Most will find Now You See Me to be a breath of fresh air in a summer crammed tight full of tentpole blockbusters, while few will discover the film’s tricks far before they’re actually revealed.
Now You See Me functions as something that appears to be smarter than everyone in the room, when in fact it’s just barely a step ahead of the general audience. Leterrier doesn’t let the film’s magic get in the way of the light and breezy pacing, which is only made better by the variety of talent assembled for such a project.
Mark Ruffalo gives the film a much more serious dynamic, which fits him well, but does stretch itself thin, while Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson take turns dropping lines of wit and humor without much precaution. Leterrier wisely lets the chemistry between the core four characters grow and mold into something that’s not quite perfect, but something that feels organic and far from forced down our throats, like most Hollywood pairings.
Now You See Me doesn’t attempt intricacy on the same level of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but it does try to remain clever and closed off when it comes to explaining the tricks. That is until the very end, which is where the film takes a massive dip in quality and fizzles out under its own established pressure.
This is where Now You See Me goes from being an entertaining crime caper to just another failed magician movie that blows its wad on a climax that makes little sense and solves absolutely nothing. Had the film ended any other way, then perhaps Now You See Me would be receiving much different praise, but as it stands it’s nothing more than a box office fluke that won over so many due to it being a good piece of counter-marketing.
Now You See Me is funny, fast-paced and a good time-killer, but it’s a film that deflates under its own weight and fades away quicker than the best magic trick at your local high school talent show.
The film dazzles on Blu-Ray with a finely-structured 1080p video transfer, thanks to Lionsgate. This is yet another incredibly sharp transfer that yields impressive results. Black levels are milky smooth, while shadowing and shading have no real problems. Detail is strongly rendered as the film’s various locations prove to be some great-looking eye candy.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a hearty mix of sounds to pleasure the eardrums with. The film’s action sequences are load and heavily-detailed, while the finer moments are rendered with high quality and balance spent focusing in on dialogue and surrounding effects.
Here’s a list of bonus material found on this combo pack:
- Theatrical & Extended cuts of the film
- Audio Commentary with Producer Bobby Cohen and Director Louis Letterier (Theatrical Version Only)
- Now You See Me Revealed (HD)
- A Brief History of Magic (HD)
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Teaser Trailer (HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
Now You See Me is best described as perfect rental material. Louis Leterrier has crafted a quick and clever little crime caper of a film that deals heavily with magic, but rarely takes itself too seriously. It does succeed with its ensemble work and surface-level magic, but the film’s closing minutes renders its entire existence almost pointless. Rent it, watch it and forget about it.
Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me is a slick and fast crime caper that works because of its witty dialogue and large cast, but falls flat due to a disastrous finale that fails to leave any sort of magical impression.