Now You See Me (2013)

now12016.54: Now You See Me (Amazon VOD)

Now this is the kind of modern film that has me scurrying for the safety of 1960s/1970s films, back when film-makers had some common-sense and restraint. Now You See Me stretches the bounds of believability and then goes another 100% beyond that just for good measure. Modern film-makers don’t do subtle, do they? As the film had enough success to spawn a sequel I guess the mindless, spectacle-at-any-cost cinemagoers simply lapped it up. Maybe when they actually think about what they are watching they will realise they’ve been had. It’s a horrible con of a movie and one of my most depressing viewing experiences this year.

Its supposed to be about magic tricks and illusions but leaps into implausible extremes of logic and luck with so many WTF moments of CGI excess that I had to wonder if I’d stumbled onto another Marvel superhero franchise. It really is that daft with its incredibly funky/hip/beautiful/sexy (yep so Hollywood) ‘magicians/tricksters’ demonstrating impossible acts of illusion and impractical extremes of blind chance. It’s a shame really as the basic premise is interesting and could have made a decent thriller/mystery but as usual with modern films the film-makers cannot restrain from just going too far for spectacle and theatrics that simply cannot bear any intelligent scrutiny. None of the characters feel ‘real’, or the events they are situated in seem anything other than a noisy fantasy.

Do people watch a film like this and really believe it? Do they just blindly accept the patronising excuses/explanations pandered to them by such an inane script and offered up with blatant ignorance of any audience intelligence? At one point a giant safe under guard in a warehouse is apparently stolen, only to be explained as a supreme ploy of misdirection, as the safe is still in the warehouse but cunningly ‘hidden’ by an elaborate giant mirror somehow installed without the authorities knowing about it- indeed, the authorities chasing the supposed getaway truck without examining the crime scene enough to spot a gigantic 100-foot mirror hiding the actual safe still in its original position behind it? Or an elaborate chase scene culminating with a mock-crash/fatality on a bridge that is subject to such crazy chance and unlikely serendipity, and puts so many members of the public at risk of harm or death, that it’s just laughable when the ‘explanation’ is eventually given. It’s beyond preposterous; it’s insulting the viewer’s intelligence- particularly  when it includes a passing remark about a corpse being ‘borrowed’ from the morgue as if it’s just an ordinary occurrence, or that ‘magicians’ with no stunt-driving experience can rig an elaborate stunt that requires CGI augmentation for even a Hollywood film-crew to pull off.

At other points such daft excuses aren’t even attempted-  one of the magicians floats above an audience in a giant soap bubble, blatantly just a CGI effect, with no subsequent attempt to explain how the ‘illusion’ is really performed as it’s impossible fantasy- simply just a thoughtless ‘wow’ moment that gets carried by the films relentless don’t-pause-to-think-about-anything pace. So many films now race along breathlessly simply because they are so daft, with such supreme leaps of ridiculous logic and gaping plot-holes, that the film would fall apart if forced to bear any examination. I hate films like this, as they just refuse to give anything -including the audience- any sincerity or respect. Its spectacle and nothing more, pandering to a mindless viewer who just wants the ‘wow’ whatever the cost, just like any Transformers movie. To maintain the pace some of the editing is so extremely tight that it’s physically impossible for some actions to take place in the ‘real’ world, with characters ‘leaping’ from location to location almost instantly, lapses of logic carried away by the noisy soundtrack and bright flashy spectacle.

It is a horrible movie. Really horrible. And even more horrible is that so many people like it and we’ve apparently got a sequel- good lord, has the world gone mad? The lesson here is that people get the films they deserve and actors will do any movie for a paycheck.

No, I really didn’t like it!

4 thoughts on “Now You See Me (2013)

  1. Very well said. I thought this was dreadful when I had the misfortune o going to see it in the cinema on release. Terrible on every level and, for me too, the only real mystery was the fact it wasn’t universally recognized for the turkey it most surely is.

  2. I… enjoyed it more than I should have. But yes, it doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever, and there’s definitely a better film to be made out of the basic concept — one that adheres to the rules of real life.

    Surprised they’re making a third, though. I thought the sequel flopped.

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