Now You See Me – The Monocle

Now-You-See-Me-Wallpaper-01 copy
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Ed Solomon & Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt
Released: May 31st, 2013
Theatre watched at: AMC Burbank, Burbank

Sometimes in the sea of sameness a rock floats to the surface. It breaks the fluidic facade of the likeness that you have lately taken for granted, and so it captures your curiosity and locks your attention as you drift closer and closer to it. Finally you’ve reached it, your exodus from the usual is complete and you notice something about this rock…it’s glowing. In fact, it’s shimmering. In fact, it

isn’t a rock-it’s a diamond. You fish it out, hold it up to the sun and stare at all its glory, now wondering what other treasures this sea possesses. Sometimes in Hollywood a diamond of a film will arise that forces you to rethink what you thought could be possible with the camera. This…is NOT one of those times!

Now You See Me is easily one of the worst movies of the summer and possibly of the year; for a movie about magic its most mind-blowing aspect is how little of it is spent on movie magic. The film as a whole is just a mess, it’s a clutter of crappy dialogue, lazy editing, shallow characters, and an incoherent narrative so bipolar it makes dealing with your menstruating girlfriend look like rough sex…then again, I guess that’s how you would deal with that situa-anyways, the point is that it’s a lazy, uninspired film.

Basically, there are four magicians who call themselves The Four Horsemen: Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher), and Jack (Dave Franco). They are called together by an unnamed and mysterious figure (whom they hold quite a cult worship for) who convinces them to pull off an elaborate magic trick consisting of three acts (three separate magic shows) in return for having them join an elite, secret magician’s organization known as “The Eye.” Now, because their shows involve what is perceived to be stealing from banks and rich people across the globe, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent) are tasked with not just apprehending the illusionists but debunking them as well, and thus they seek the help of professional debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman).

If there is anything that really caught people’s attention at first, it must have been the casting, and with good reason-they are all fantastic actors and some even iconic (and no I will not refer to them as their comic-book counterparts so stop asking!). Guess what? All of them are underused, no one gets a chance to shine, and I don’t blame the cast one bit. There was very little effort put into making it seem like these characters even had a conscience of their own; every character has their purpose, but other than being a chess piece the writers left little room for dynamics, change, and instability, which severely decreases the feeling of any sense of danger or unpredictability. In all fairness, Woody Harrelson gives the most distinguished performance as the unrelenting and unsympathetic mentalist who acts more like the down-to-earth, fun version of Sherlock Holmes; a solo project may be in order.

In general, frankly the script is just so inorganic, boringly dry, and worst of all, frustratingly ambiguous. Throughout the entire duration of the film, the protagonists and antagonists of the plot remain completely indistinguishable; in other words, I don’t know who I should be rooting for or sympathizing with! The first half hour of the film we get comfortable with the Horsemen; learn about their specialities, their past, and go through their whole first magic show, so I’m thinking, “These are the guys I’ll be cheering on; they’re cool and I want them to succeed in this big trick.” Then, after being introduced to the cops, we spend long viagra femme forum za zene segments dealing with just them and their own love story and problems, and I’m sitting there wondering “Okay, so…this seems to be a lot of deep information for the side who I thought I’m suppose to be booing? I’m confused.” Perhaps it’s a misdirection tactic, and a way to keep the audience guessing, but without a screenplay capable of giving us any petty information along the way and constantly juggling us between perspectives, it’s hard to care about anything and you just want it to be over. Divorced parents, anyone?

At the end of it all, the big reveal, the prestige, the plot twist, what Morgan Freeman said in the trailer would culminate into something that “…is really going to amaze,” sucks the big one. Not only does it fail to breach any type of amazement, it abandons all established meaning of the preceding events and ends up being just confusing and stupid. It’s a cheap, unoriginal pay off, one you wouldn’t even think the filmmakers would attempt these days, and it will leave you feeling like the real trick was getting you to pay $11 for a movie that was doomed to disappoint after the producers had seen the first cut. Oh, the film wasn’t pre-screened for critics prior to its official release? Mmm…at least some of the pieces are falling into place now.

Bow Tie Score - 1.0