I like heist movies, like The Thomas Crowne Affair, or The Italian Job, or Rififi, or Inception, any complicated caper that involves split second timing and completely unbelievable coincidences and high speed car chases through a mid-town Manhattan with amazingly light traffic.  Or a naked Jason Statham.  Especially a naked Jason Statham.

So I settled in to watch Now You See Me happily enough and after it was over thought “What the fuck was that?  Can I have my ninety minutes back, please?”  Turns out, no.

I understand all of this genre requires a certain willing suspension of disbelief (again, Manhattan car chases with no traffic.  Yep.  Okay.) but Now You See Me takes this to another plane, sort of a willing assumption of simple mindedness.  The obligatory car chase turns out to have absolutely no purpose in the movie.  There is no reason the crooks indulge in it, it does nothing for the plot (or “plot”) and the reveal of how the crooks structured it is just ludicrous.  It involves Woody Harrelson driving a city bus full of commuters who apparently don’t notice there is a car attached to the bus.  With a convenient dead guy in it.

It’s all very slick and the cast is nice looking

Dave Franco, James Franco’s little brother, who simply disappears for a big chunk of the movie.  Maybe he found something better to do.

Mark Ruffalo, who was cute, in a fresh-out-of-rehab sort of way.

but let me emphasize the main adjective here is “ludicrous.”

One of minor points I found the most irritating turns on the cops being able to find a hotel room in New Orleans at Mardi Gras because they have an Interpol chick who speaks French and, naturlement, being able to do so is a big plus in the Big Easy.  I lived there a long time and ran into plenty of natives who apparently could not speak English, but not because they were Francophones.  I know it was a French colonial town, but so were St. Louis and Detroit and nobody expects them to roll out fluency in French.

And no naked Jason Statham.  I mean, really, what’s the point?

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

16 responses »

  1. Ezzakly. I sat through some pointless thing with Statham and some little Chinese kid and was perfectly happy. Why? The serious density of his muscles. They can save any barking, crapping dog of a movie.


  2. If only you had written this review two days ago! It's sad that even I figured it out before it was halfway over, when the plot revolved around misdirection and slight of hand.

    It's safe to say that Morgan Freeman is now the kiss of death for a successful movie.

    By the time it was over, I would have settled for a naked Michael Caine.


  3. I'm so sorry, it took me this long to recover.

    And did they edit out Michael Caine's exit from the movie? Cause all of sudden, poof, he's just not in it. Maybe it was a magic trick. Maybe his agent saved him.


  4. Never is no cinematic reason for Mr. Statham to be wearing clothes at any time during filming. This is basic cinema 101. Please have Jason stop by kabuki's house, where kabuki will explain this to him thru the art of interpretive dance.


  5. Have you seen the car chase scene in Bullitt?

    Did you notice that Steve McQueen passes the same green Volkswagen at least three times while chasing the Dodge Charger?


  6. Bullitt is famous here because the route makes no sense and in many cases is nonexistent. He wheels around a corner and suddenly is magically on the other side of town, goes up the steep side of a hill crests it and comes down in a block that is miles away. Pretty funny.

    I understand he wore crocs the entire time.


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