From the trailer it would appear that Now You See Me would deliver a plethora of age-old magic tricks. This is reinforced by the opening stages of the movie, as four magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco) are summoned by tarot cards to work together in order to join the prestigious “eye”. A year later they appear in Las Vegas now known as “The Four Horsemen”, their orchestration of a series of apparent bank heists leading to the involvement of the FBI. However, the believability of the tricks is lost as CGI is used to make these operations look more impressive than they actually are. The film soon descends into police chases and action scenes in order to detract from the main storyline, which is not fully revealed until the end.
Morgan Freeman sits on the sidelines as a former magician who seeks to expose the secrets of these plots in order to profit from them himself, whilst further hinting to the incompetency of the FBI. Alongside all of this, a love story evolves between jaded FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent), who mysteriously enters the investigation. The interaction conjured up between the film’s eclectic personalities, including Michael Caine in a small part as a financial backer, makes Now You See Me confusing and hard to follow as you try to decipher what is actually happening.
The entire film seems to goad the audience, asking them to “Come in close, ‘coz the more you think you see, the easier it’ll be to fool you.” Therefore, the viewer is constantly trying to guess the identity of the enigmatic architect of the Four Horsemen, whilst trying to follow the action-packed and elaborate tricks that unfold throughout the rest of the film. Although Now You See Me is very entertaining, all in all you leave the cinema slightly confused and unmoved by the characters’ exploits.