Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Starring by: Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent
Written by: Boaz Yakin, Ed Solomon and Edward Ricourt
Today Murray won Wimbledon - we'll start this review on a completely unrelated note to the film and congratulate him on a well deserved victory! (Hey, we're a small time blog, not a big time newspaper!). In celebration of this, we'll have several articles being launched today - look for the next one in the next hour or so!
A terrifically enjoyable crime caper that doesn't reinvent the wheel but make sure it keeps spinning. Critics have hit it, but audiences have loved it - there's no doubt it's appeal. It's no 'Italian Job', sure. But it's frighteningly entertaining - even with a few patchy areas.
The narrative is relatively sketchy - sure too. But you don't watch magic to follow a logical narrative plot - you watch it to get swept up in the action and to fall in love with the ride.
The film sets a strong tone with the quartet of solo magicians who are brought together by a mysterious horse to become a performing troupe known as the Four Horsemen. There's Jesse Eisenberg, typecast as the usual nerdy/OCD type of character, played with meticulous attention and brilliant behavourisms. Then there's his old partner in Isla Fisher who plays a clever escape artist. Filling the last two spots are the brilliant and offbeat Woody Harrelson (who since his earlier films has improved dramatically but has always been in fine form) and Dave (the-brother-of-James) Franco, who each hold their own. The two main businessmen who get involved with the magicians are Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
Mark Ruffalo plays the-always-step-behind FBI agent Dylan who chases the magicians and tries to stop them from pulling off trick after trick. He's aided (in someway) by a French Interpol agent played by Melanie Laurent.
The beauty of this film doesn't rest in the hollow story or the cinematography or the script - it's the actors who carry this film and who make it an enjoyable film.
Does it attempt to discuss morality like any other film? Sure, it has Robin Hood-esque overtones. But instead of playing up to these, it plays up to the 'fun' aspect - something missing from a fair amount of films that try to deal with massive and grand concept. The score is gentle but non intrusive, and the cinematography helps enhance the journey. It's not the greatest magic film - doesn't even touch another film involving Caine, 'The Prestige' for example. But it's enjoyable.
As a summer blockbuster or even as a way to spend disposable incomes, there are many, many, many worse ways to spend your money.
What The Mr. Thought:
Can't really say anything other than the fact that you should go and watch it if you want some easy-watching-blockbuster-fun. We rate for films from a lay-man point of view - while we take professional level views and approaches to working, we look to see what a film wants to deliver and what it actually does - and this film simply delivers on most of the levels it runs through.
What the Misses Thought:
Seeing the advert for this film in the cinema, the Mr and I could not wait! And it certainly did not disappoint. Exciting and enticing, each trick better than the last! However the ending left me wanting more and a little more explanation.
But remember, you didn't hear any of this from us!
The Mr and the Misses