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‘Oceans 14 – illusionist style’ ★★1/2 Review of Now You See Me (2013)
January 4, 2014, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Film Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Crime/Mystery, Rated M, 110 Minutes.
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent.
Available 11 December – Outdoor from 11 February 2014

An elite FBI squad is pursuing The Four Horsemen, a team of the world’s greatest illusionists who pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, and then funnel the millions of stolen profits into their audiences’ bank accounts. FBI Special Agent Dylan is determined to make the magicians pay for their crimes-and to stop them before they pull off what promises to be an even more audacious heist. But he’s forced to partner with Alma, an Interpol detective about whom he is instantly suspicious. Out of desperation he turns to Thaddeus, a famed magic debunker, who claims the bank heist was accomplished using disguises and video trickery. One thing Dylan and Alma agree on is that the Horsemen must have an outside point person, and that finding him (or her) is key to ending the magicians’ crime spree.

Now You See Me or should I say Oceans 14 illusionist style, promises to be the perfect heist film. Featuring elaborate magic shows that stage bank robberies where they give the loot back to you, who wouldn’t love this merry bunch of thieves?

The gang of magical misfits – The Four Horsemen make for an irritating collection of characters with the CEO being Mark Zuckerburg himself Jesse Eisenberg, giving an exact re-tread of his performance in The Social Network with just an extra dose of smug. The film goes from one ridiculous idea to the next in order to distract you, the audience, from the main trick which is stealing 115 minutes of your life. The film looks the real deal and certainly has a credible cast including the great Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine but they are just coasting along here. Melanie Laurent as a French Interpol agent supplies the buddy cop/love interest moments for Mark Ruffalo, and she’s so French she even wears a blue and white striped shirt. I was just waiting for her to bust out her mime routine in order to explain the plot. The only person having a crack is Woody Harrelson who puts in a credible effort, but you do wonder why he bothered, as surely he had a copy of the script.

The Scooby-Doo characterisations wrapped up in a cool heist ‘Oceans style’ caper just missed all its marks. Even the poster wishes it was Oceans 14. Mr Soderbergh please come back out of retirement – we need you.

Review out of five stars: ★★ ½ Stars

Review by Andy Marshall – find me on Letterboxd

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