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Review: 'Now You See Me' fast and airy

By Owen Gleiberman, EW
May 31, 2013 -- Updated 2109 GMT (0509 HKT)
Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson star in the film
Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson star in the film "Now You See Me."
  • 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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