In this summer’s sleeper hit, four magicians of varying specialties and egos are brought together by a mysterious, hoodied benefactor. Played by Jesse Eisenberg (30 Minutes or Less), Woody Harrelson (Seven Psychopaths), Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby) and Dave Franco (21 Jump Street), they perform a live trick to end all tricks: robbing a bank in Paris … all from a Vegas stage. With follow-up engagements in New Orleans and New York, the quarter is chased by an eager-beaver FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo, The Avengers).
That’s merely scratching the surface of the story, which one can’t delve into any further without revealing its twists. The movie has more of them than a bag of rotini pasta — so many that director Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) needn’t have cheated in a few instances that break the bonds of plausibility.
Oh, well; Now You See Me is too snappy to be harmed irreparably by it. The plot moves as if it were on laughing gas, and the players follow right along. If you can’t have fun with this, your mind isn’t jostled into the proper frame. This is a heist/caper film dipped in David Copperfield.
Another minor drawback to the film is its two-hour length, which I bring up only because Summit Entertainment’s Blu-ray comes with the option of watching an “Extended Edition” that adds a needless 10 minutes. Instead, navigate over the extras for the alternate ending set in a neon graveyard in the Vegas desert; it plays better into the already-greenlit sequel. The deleted scenes also reinstate the role of Elias Koteas (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), cut entirely from the finished product. —Rod Lott
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