Friday, May 31, 2013

Now You See Me Movie Review

Mark Ruffalo stars in Now You See Me

From our friends at DC Film Review...

Talk About a Fumble

"Who doesn't love a good magic trick?" After wrapping up Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me... this guy (pointing to me.) What began as an interesting concept, soon eroded into a $70 million waste of time and money... and a striking blow to the normally exceptional Mark Ruffalo, who delivers the worst performance of his career as an FBI agent in hot pursuit of four "magicians" with an uncanny ability to rob banks.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: NOW YOU SEE ME pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against "The Four Horsemen", a super-team of the world's greatest illusionists. "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.

What’s Best: Woody Harrelson brings the funny as mentalist Merritt Osbourne, a former star who opens the film shaking down a philandering husband in a market cafe for cash. Possessing the ability to read people's minds is a movie in itself, and nobody plays it better than Harrelson. "Tranny Tuesday" is a stitch, especially when followed by Woody's elaborate finger snap. Sadly, he's only one of four horsemen (actually three, unless you consider comely Isla Fischer a "man.")

What’s Not: Be patient: There's a lot to cover here, beginning with Leterrier's frantic pace (one that's totally unnecessary.) I can only assume that Leterrier had Now You See Me confused with The Transporter, his directorial debut a decade ago. This is most evident with co-star Jesse Eisenberg's speed dial performance as Danny Atlas, the lead horseman. Am I the only one who thinks he's repeating his turn as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network? Egotistical? Check. Fast talking? Double check. Annoying? Check. Check. Check.

I grew tired of watching the FBI perform their Keystone Cops routine ad nauseam. Ditto for Fischer's baby voice (It worked in Wedding Crashers, but not here.) But all this pales in comparison to Ruffalo's... whatever you want to call it (so long as no one confuses it with acting.) From his reluctance to take on an Interpol partner (the same partner he predictably falls for later) to his frantic interview/investigative skills, Ruffalo sets the bar as low as you can get. Leterrier doesn't help Ruffalo's cause by undoing his unshaven star's tie on several occasions, to indicate "I mean business." Honestly, I have no idea how Ruffalo kept from turning into the Incredible Hulk: I'm guessing they didn't let him anywhere near the dailies.

Best Line: It's a stretch, but Danny's reply to a groupie's 'You don't even have my number' made me smile. 'I'm magic: I'll find it.' It was either that or Freeman's prophetic, 'You guys are still idiots.'

Overall: Now You See Me has all the trimmings of a slick comedy, but poor writing, terrible pacing and wasted performances by several notable Oscar winners/nominees kill any chances of success. The four horsemen (again, one of them's a girl) have zero chemistry. Each trick is explained in excruciating detail (not all at once, but after each and every one... Talk about a buzzkill.) The film's opening line, 'The closer you look, the less you see' says a lot about what's to follow... I didn't see much of anything.

Grade: D