Rated: PG-13, 115 mins
Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fischer, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo
The movie starts promisingly. Four magicians, each with a clear and distinguished talent from an escape artist to a hypnotist- all set up to meet when a card is delivered to them. From here, we see them next in their big Vegas show directing a bank heist.
It is, of course, pulled off and money is showered down to the audience. This starts a lengthy police investigation headed up by Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) into their next move and with ex-magician Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman) set on exposing the tricks of the trade the movie rolls on into the action.
Now, my first issue with this film- where are they exactly drawing the line under magic and ‘magic’? It appears to be all an illusion, but there is an incident at the end of the film which seems supernatural- but these are serious Vegas showmen (and woman), so this isn’t about real magic right?
Out to give money back to the masses in need, the four horseman as they so call themselves, are do-gooder magicians, desperate to be accepted to an organisation called ‘The Eye’. Very little is explained about this, yet it is the motivation for these four magicians to risk their lives and careers for this promise.
There’s a very underdeveloped relationship between Dylan and his assigned worker from Interpol on the case, and their kiss is frankly, very cliche. At some point during the film there needed to be an emotional investment in the characters. Ocean’s Eleven developed strong characters and people we can laugh with and be interested in. These characters have very little personality and it’s hard, then, to become incredibly involved in the film. This is no comment against the actors, but rather the character development afforded them by the writers.
It’s certainly not boring and it’s enjoyable to watch the tricks being explained, but it lacks the real epic nature they tried to give the film with strong music and promising ideas. The twist at the end is also quite predictable and does very little to save what could have been a really great film.
Lots of great actors, shame about the story line.