A spoiler-laced reaction.....
Every once a while in a sea of summer blockbusters, you get a surprise. Normally the big tentpole franchises are the ones with all the spectacle, and anything good stays away. Now You See Me is a pleasant surprise in that it seemingly came out of nowhere, didn't necessarily have a bankable star from the A-list, nor did it have a crazy hook in its plot to draw you in. People love magic, but it is genuinely surprising that a film about it did so well.
For me, the magic of Now You See Me is how it unfolds to a viewer that comes in with no expectations. That's the way we always say we wish we could see movies, right? We want to have no idea what's going to happen next. While you may be able to see you step or two ahead of this movie, you never really see what's going on. Heck, they even tell you the whole darn time what's going on. They leave you the clues. There's foreshadowing galore. They lead you by the hand all the way through, but you never really see what's going on.
Heck, with no clear star in a series of great actors, you never entirely sure who the star of the movie is. That leaves you to never truly be sure about what's really going on. Its hard even to pin down the genre of Now You See Me. In fact, Now You See Me is a series of films mixed into one. Its a mystery film. Its a magic show. Its a chase movie. Its a revenge film. Its a thriller with a major twist. What other genres would you care to throw in the mix?
I really like this movie. This is the kind of film that we never ask for, but we should. It's not a "vehicle” for a $20 million star. It's not necessarily trying to kick off of franchise with a four movie deal, action figures and fast food licensing. The success of the movie may lead to a sequel, but like The Matrix in 1999, I don't need a sequel. Perhaps I'd like to spend more time with some of these characters, but I don't feel like there's a level of depth that I need to understand.
Isn't that a rule of magic anyway, never repeat a trick? Never perform the same trick twice in a row. Let's not get a chance to see how the trick is done. I don't want to look too close to this. Let's enjoy it for what it is and call it a day.
I enjoy that many of the actors involved in this movie are brought in to do with they do best. We've already seen Jesse Eisenberg be a smug asshole, so he plays his part well. We want to believe that they see everything coming. Mark Ruffalo is such a likable actor that we don't doubt his honesty one bit. Nobody gets the best of Michael Caine any more. He’s too wise to have the wool pulled over his eyes. And of course, we always believe that Morgan Freeman knows everything. Heck, he's the narrator; he's God. The creators of this movie used our preconceived notions of these actors to their advantage. This is typecasting used to its best. Everyone is used the way you think they should, until they're not.
Now You See Me is what a summer movie is supposed to feel like. It's popcorn fun. I leave with a smile on my face. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare. It's just fun.