Now You See Me (2013)


Link: Now You See Me

Summary: Four magic-related entertainers are brought together by a mysterious ringleader who has them perform three magic shows in which they redistribute wealth.  Meanwhile, the FBI tries to track them down and figure out how they’re doing their tricks.

Thoughts: This is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.  The magic “tricks” involve sci-fi nonsense like 3D holograms and being able to hypnotize people to control them.  It’s hard to be dazzled by such ingenuity when we know it’s really the product of screenwriters being lazy hacks.  When other plot twists are revealed to have been part of the grand plan, they too have explanations far too outlandish to be satisfying.  The film spends so much energy trying to make each plot twist surprising that they completely fail to be meaningful, especially the film’s final twist, the revelation of who the mysterious ringleader is.  If you’re not saying, “I thought so,” or “That sure is stupid,” you’re saying, “I really don’t care.”  Take, for example, the twist at the end of The Prestige.  Perhaps you can see that film’s revelation coming from a mile away, but that’s because it’s meaningful, it plays into what the entire story is about.  This film’s final twist, on the other hand, tries so hard to hide itself that it makes itself completely arbitrary, and so has zero dramatic impact.

Aside from the ridiculous convoluted not-clever plot, there’s something a bit sickening in images of paper money falling like confetti upon happy crowds as if stealing from the rich to give to the poor is at all noble or romantic, or that it should make so many people so easily happy as they smile and jump up and catch it.  To me, it feels almost condescending, in a way.  “I know what’s important to you, poor soul!  Money!  So, here, have some!  Yay!  You’re happy now, aren’t you?”