Review: 'Now You See Me' fast and airy

Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson star in the film "Now You See Me."

Story highlights

  • Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco are magicians in the film
  • The group also pull off some big bank heists
  • EW says it looks like the cast is having fun

This fast and airy thriller about a team of four magicians is an engagingly preposterous high-wire act.

It never stops moving (the camerawork, dialogue, and plot twists keep rushing at you), and it's exceedingly clever — at least when it bothers to make sense, which is about two-thirds of the time. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as an arrogant card sharp, Woody Harrelson as a mentalist who can divine anyone's secrets, Isla Fisher as a lady-vixen David Copperfield, and Dave Franco as a wizardly thief. A mysterious leader brings the four of them together to do a high-powered Las Vegas act that climaxes in amazing on-stage bank thefts.

Which is why a testy FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) is soon on their trail. The agent gets teamed with a French Interpol officer (Mélanie Laurent) he can't stop flirtatiously fighting with, but his real battle is with the demon-prank illusionists whose every move is destined to outwit him. At times, "Now You See Me" suggests Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" made with a throwaway wink.

The actors, including Morgan Freeman as an anti-showman devoted to revealing the magicians' secrets, look like they're having so much fun that you can forgive the periodic arbitrariness of it all. Grade: B

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