Little more than hocus pocus

Now You See Me Entertainment One Rating: PG 116 minutes

Now You See Me starts well as we are introduced to four razzle dazzle magicians/street performers who are really con artists. Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco are then put together as a new magic act known as the Four Horsemen by an unknown organizer. On their way to becoming famous, and as part of their new act, they appear to rob a bank in Paris during their show in Las Vegas. And give all the money to the audience.

An FBI team headed by Mark Ruffalo starts investigating the robbery with the help of an Interpol officer played by Melanie Laurent. Morgan Freeman plays a magic debunker, who rather quickly explains how they pulled it off. He’s good at explaining how magic acts work by deception, how your interest is drawn here, while the trick is done there. Meanwhile the group goes on to even more spectacular, if hard to believe, stunts in their show.

While there is a lot of glitz and superficial excitement here, and some nice acting chops from the cast, it’s hard to take it seriously. There are red herrings and plot twists galore, and it all moves really fast. The final plot revelation is on the verge of ludicrous. However, if you’re willing to go along with it, and don’t mind the lack of character development, the hocus pocus is fun at times. But there’s a lot less here than meets the eye.

Rating: two deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

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