I saw this movie back when it first came out and fully intended on reviewing it immediately, and just never got around to it until now. “Now You See Me“ was a decent little film except for one fatal flaw.
“Now You See Me”is directed by Louis Leterrier whose filmography is not impressive at all. The direction isn’t really bad, but it could be a hell of a lot better. There are a lot of huge sweeping shots that rotate around the actors showing off the sets. Shots like this occur frequently and quickly become annoying. The whole film has this glaze layered on by the director that gives a self absorbent feeling. It almost comes off as pretentious.
The cast is pretty good. We have the “Zombieland” team of Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, who have much less chemistry this time around. I don’t blame the actors, I blame the writing. Mark Ruffalo does what he can with his poorly written character, but then you take Dave Franco who manages to make a boring character even more boring. The old heavyweights Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman feel very underutilized. Instead the movie makes time for characters and actors we don’t care about.
Magic is a hard thing to pull off in films. It’s hard because it’s so easy. Let me explain. We have movies with giant robots and monsters fighting, we have movies with dragons and wizards, and futuristic worlds. My point being: It’s hard to amaze an audience with a card trick. When I first heard of this movie I was confused. I thought they were remaking that Disney TV movie “Now You See It” for some reason?
The movie is enjoyable for a while. Not very high quality, but passable. It would’ve been an entertaining little movie that would’ve been quickly forgotten if not for one terrible item near the end of the film. The Goddamn plot twist.
The plot twist in this film is absolutely terrible. The film had plenty of plot holes already and the twist opens up so many more. A plot twist is supposed to be a revelation. You realize something that makes sense with repeated viewings of the film. This twist negates the actions of characters and whole sections of the movie become stupid and unnecessary.
It honestly seems as though the writers threw this twist in and didn’t even bother to check if it made sense. I won’t spoil the twist (Which is ironic because the twist spoils the movie) in case you still want to see it. You will probably be entertained by the film if not extremely annoyed by the terribly stupid plot twist. It’s one of the worst plot twists in recent memory, I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it. The plot twist negates the entire film.
Questions that ran through my head as I watched this film were;
- “Who wrote that awful twist?“
- “Why did they think this was a good script?“
- “Why does this feel vaguely familiar?“
Then I spied the name Boaz Yakin in the credits and it all became perfectly clear. Boaz Yakin has become a bit like a mortal enemy of mine ever since I saw the terribly recycled Jason Statham film “Safe“, and looked into Boaz’s filmography.
He wrote a “Dirty Dancing” film.
No, not that one.
This weird, sequel, or spin off, or something, I don’t even know.
Oh, but okay, look at this, he wrote “The Punisher“.
Wait, nope, not that one.
Nope not that one either. He did this one:
Yeah the Dolph Lundgren “Punisher”. Oh geeze his filmography is pretty misleading.
Oh check it out he wrote “The Rookie“
wait, oh, not that “The Rookie”. THIS “The Rookie“
Yeah, the Charlie Sheen one. Alright this is getting annoying, what else has he written? “From Dusk Till Dawn 2″, the Prince of Persia movie. Both of which are terrible. I hate this guy. Boaz Yakin should leave the business. He did direct “Remember the Titans” which I swear is the only reason he’s still getting work.
That explains most of the problems I have with “Now You See Me”. Not a very good movie. It would’ve been passable, but the God awful plot twist makes it terrible, and outside of all that it’s just a very forgettable film. Don’t bother watching it.