Review by Tres
So this past week my wife and I took a chance on Now You See Me. Now I have been a fan of magic since I was a young boy. One of my all-time favorite birthday presents was a magic kit to do small magic tricks. Growing up I have seen magic shows, watched several specials, including when the David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear and when he walked through the Great Wall of China. I also enjoy the street magician shows on television and have caught several of the magic busting shows that show how tricks are done.
I will first state that I have never believed magic is more than tricks, sle ight of hand, and simple redirection of attention. However, I still enjoy it and am fascinated as to how in-depth tricks and shows have become over time.
So, the movie. I went into the movie questioning several things: the mixed up cast, the story line, and the special effects.
Looking at the cast: I found it interesting that we have 2 different known match-ups between Zombieland and The Dark Night trilogy actors. Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network and Zombieland), Woody Harrelson (Cheers, Zombieland, and Hunger Games),
Morgan Freeman (Batman trilogy), and Michael Cain (Batman Trilogy).
As well as, Mark Ruffalo (13 going on 30 and Avengers: Hulk), Isla Fisher (Wedding Chasers and Definitely Maybe), Dave Franco (Warm Bodies and Fright Night),
You have some solid actors in this movie with decades of experience. Some who have had some major stand-out roles in movies and others with small supporting roles. Each of these actors plays a vital roles of which the movie could not run its course without. I wasn’t sure how their “magic” together would work on the big screen. I am telling you I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t feel that there was a single weak character here. Nor did I feel like there was an overshadowing character that stole the scenes. This was a top-notch group with perfect chemistry. I bought each role that they were assigned to with their individual personalities. Whoever brought this cast together gets a “Himey Award” (subnote1) for one of the best working casts I have ever seen in a movie. This set-up just works in a fabulous way.
I was also questioning the story. I had read a few write-ups regarding the movie prior to seeing it and they mentioned robberies using magic. I was worried that I was going to a movie that was going to try to convince me that magic was real. Well what they actually did was…. wait, I can’t tell you because I don’t want to give it away.
The third thing I worried about was the special effects that I was going to see. I have seen several movies and shows where you see clearly a cut/skip in the film when something vanishes or appears. I can honestly say that the special effects were top notch and would convince you that “real” magic was going on.
So I break to the question being pondered by some, “You are a Christian/preacher and you like magic?”
Looking at God’s word, Paul tells us about the reaction of people hearing the Gospel.
Acts 19:19 And not a few of them that practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Sorcery is included as a work of the flesh in Galations 5: 19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Then in the Revelation we can read about Sorcerers’ punishment in chapter 21 verse 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
Some will say that ALL magic is included in these versus. However, through my studies the scriptures and translations are indeed focused on sorcery and the black arts; also known as black magic. I’m not saying that magic wasn’t used and practiced in Biblical times. OI am saying that the scriptures refer to evil practices, summoning demons, and things that we connect to witchcraft and not “magic tricks”.
So, as a Christian did I have a hard time with the idea of the magic? I did not. It was displayed as tricks and sleight of hand, which I am comfortable with.
Now, as a movie buff, I often find that I am predicting movies as they unfold. I often leave a movie let down because the ending is not a surprise to me and I think to myself, “I would have done….” Having seen over 4000 movies in the past 20 years (that’s how many I have rated on NetFlix) I can say the twists and changes in Now You See Me were not expected by this movie buff. I was pleasantly surprised at the intensity and special effects of the movie. The twists and the ending, which I did not see coming was a great pleasure to me. I truly enjoyed it and walked out of the theatre without a single thought of what I could have or would have done. I walked out and said… out loud mind you… “That was awesome!”
Seldom do I give a movie and perfect score.
The magic of this movie and how it all came together was complete. The acting is great. The individual characters are so fitting to the people chosen for them. The special effects were fantastic. The story line was even better.
I must say, without giving the plot away, the struggle as a Christian is that the main plot is a trait that is focused on a worldly challenge and not a Godly trait. I can’t delve into that area without giving too much away to the plot. The last thing I want to do is give something away to spoil this movie. It would be like sitting down to the Sixth Sense and being told, “You know he’s dead throughout the movie right?” (If you haven’t seen that one…Ops! Sorry!!!)
I enjoyed this movie so much, I’m willing to go back to a theatre and watch it again. I only spend those big movie prices when it comes to Superhero movies.
It’s truly fantastic. I’d even say… Yes as corny as it may be…. It’s MAGICAL!
For me, this is a perfect score movie with 5 stars.
It’s a multiple theatre journey and a must have in my collection when it is released.
Subnote1: Himey Award~ A fictitious but highly valued and sought after…in my own mind…award given by… me. My real name is Hiram, which translated into Himey as a nickname in high school and thus… the Himey Award.