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?