14 Reasons Why Now You See Me Sucked
From the very moment I saw the trailer for Now You See Me I felt like my world was officially ending. Is this what movies had come to? A star-studded cast in what seems to be a super extended Saturday Night Live skit? Here take a peek for yourself.
Does anybody actually watch that trailer and walk away eager to discover what The Four Horsemen are up to? Or is anybody convinced that Isla Fisher is a killer magician? Don’t even get me started on the fact that Michael Caine is in a magician movie that isn’t The Prestige.
All I saw were some of my favorite actors taking a sweet paycheck trying to overlook the fact that this movie is a piece of shit. On top of everything the movie is directed by none other than Louis Leterrier. Let’s take a look back at his filmography: The Transporter 1 and 2, Unleashed, The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. I’ll let that soak for a moment.
You may be wondering why I still sought out Now You See Me after all the signs suggested it would be a pointless waste of time. The answer is hope. Those that listen to the podcast should be aware by now that I have an affinity for “so bad they’re good” movies.
So I tried not be a total party pooper and instead thought of Now You See Me as the next Fast & Furious or Showgirls. Yes, Showgirls. Then…it happened…
I wasted nearly two hours of my life.
And all hope for ANYTHING was gone.
Truly bad movies are watched everyday and oftentimes it’s easy to simply forget about them and move on. Then there are those that require a breakdown of every horrendous thing gone wrong. That brings me to my list, 14 reasons why Now You See Me almost ruined my weekend.
If you really care I must say, massive spoilers ahead!!!!!
1. Mark Ruffalo has ZERO charisma
We’ve seen him as an adorable hipster in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a duly appointed Federal Marshal and most recently as an endearing Bruce Banner. Let’s not forget he was also an amazing dancer in 13 Going on 30.
Whatever the role he has always added that Ruffalo charm and smile that made ladies and gentlemen weak in the knees. There is something about his presence on screen that makes you feel at home and even if the movie is struggling he picks up the slack.
None of this is present in his role as Dylan Rhodes, a completely idiotic FBI agent. He spends most of the film grunting, scoffing or reacting to simple comments as if someone told him he had two days to live. It actually becomes comical at some point. I know this because in one of the last scenes of the film his response to Morgan Freeman is a mere “hehhhhhh” and laughter is the only thing I could muster.
As a viewer you spend most of the movie wondering how on earth this guy could be such a flipping moron. In the end it turns out Dylan Rhodes is really the mastermind behind all the great tricks of The Four Horsemen and he was merely ACTING like a dummy to fool those around him. Nobody would ever suspect such a clown to be a criminal mastermind!!!!!
That’s great except this reveal means nothing by the end of the film because it gives you no reason to care. His performance of stupidity becomes yet another display of overcompensation the same way male politicians bash gay people and shack up with their male lover hours later. This complete downgrade of Ruffalo is a travesty and his true fans will do nothing but facepalm throughout the entire movie.
Here is the plot of Now You See Me courtesy of IMDB,
“An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. “
The key to a movie like this is that the characters performing criminal acts should be likeable enough that we don’t care they have questionable morals. Throughout film history there have been a handful of characters behaving badly you can’t help but secretly love. Daniel Plainview, The Joker, Hans Landa and the list goes on. Sure, they commit horrible acts and are complete assholes at times but it’s through the amazing actors and way they embrace their devilishness that allows viewers to jump on board.
So then we have Now You See Me with Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Jesse Eisenberg. Three out of four are amazing actors, sorry Dave. Yet, none of them even for one second play off their arrogance or corrupt behavior in way that makes me want to stand up and cheer. Instead I want them to get punched in the face.
By the end of the movie none of the characters have had any sort of growth other than the fact that their egos get even bigger. There were no lessons to be learned but rather a whole lot of jerking each other off and high fives. With a nearly two hour movie you sure as hell better have well-developed characters that serve as a strong base.
But, with Now You See Me we get a slapped together four-minute introduction to our main characters which highlight the worst parts about them. Two scammers, a playboy and some hot chick that uses her intense cleavage to jazz up magic tricks. It’s a real Breakfast Club kind of moment.
In a tacked on scene at the end of the movie it is revealed that Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) is the son of a magician who drowned many years before performing an underwater trick. Rhodes was taken in and out poverty by “The Eye” a secret society of magicians and ultimately decided to get revenge on those that caused his fathers death. So naturally he enlists four random magicians to perform elaborate “tricks” in which they steal from the rich and give to the poor.
Yeah…really touching. Let’s get this straight: Rhodes somehow gets into the FBI, pretends to be a freaking buffoon for years, stages intricate heists for others all while still maintaining his cover as a federal agent just so he can screw over people that were somehow associated with his fathers death.
His father was driven to performing a trick which involves being under water and a safe of some sort. These two things should NEVER be used together. Let’s take a brief look at how the hell we get from an underwater trick gone bad to the hijinks that ensue in the movie.
Over the course of the movie there are four tricks performed at sold out shows by The Four Horsemen. The trick seen in the trailer is the first as they rob a bank located in Paris while remaining in Las Vegas. The bank targeted just so happens to be the one that held funds paying the insurance for the death of Rhodes’ father.
In the second trick they steal money from Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who owned the insurance company. And, for their final trick, which is probably supposed to be epic but seriously fizzles out they steal money from the company who made the safe his father used. A cheaply made safe meant sleepy time for daddy.
But, there is still one more person that Rhodes feels the need to poop on. Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) is an ex-magician that began outing his fellow fancy tricksters including Rhodes father. Bradley’s actions were so horrendous that Rhodes father went on a foolish mission to prove him wrong leading to his untimely death.
Two things are being overlooked here, the first is that Rhodes father is an idiot. There was no challenge presented saying, “Hey you, perform a crazy under water stunt and risk your life!” He simply chose to do something outrageous in order to have a ZING moment. The second issue is that Dylan Rhodes is an idiot. He does the same exact thing his father did creating an endless cycle!
Has anyone ever heard of some good old-fashioned therapy? Rhodes would have benefited greatly from sitting down on a comfy couch and sharing some deep dark feelings of revenge fantasies. Instead he spent his whole life not living but meticulously planning every detail of this scheme which would only ever work in a movie because nothing runs this seamlessly. COME ON PEOPLE. This notion that one man can bottle all this anger up until the right moment and completely pull everything he has ever dreamed of off is something only found in movies, and bad ones at that.
Let’s say as a viewer we buy into the fact that Rhodes and his one-man mission is completely logical, there is still the issue of the four nincompoops he recruits. They are secretly invited into The Eye knowing only the rumors and mindlessly go along with everything they are told to do. Even though they have never met the person behind all the planning it doesn’t matter. They risk jail time and possible death to be apart of something elite within their circle of friends. All so they can have a cool freaking card with an eye on it that screams “I am in the club!”
Who would do this? I don’t care how cool your magician club is, asking questions is a smart thing to do. Either Rhodes found some crazy mofos that have issues present far before he recruited them or they really are as dumb as rocks.
This is a bad movie and with that comes every horrible cliché in the book. According to Now You See Me being a “good” magician means you can participate in a one-on-one fight with Mark Ruffalo where you have moves like Jackie Chan.
Dave Franco and Mark Ruffalo go at it as if they just walked into a Bourne film. This turns into a car chase where, you guessed it Franco can drive like he is in one of the 6 Fast and Furious films. Also, his fellow Horsemen join him on the freeway for some lane switching and shuttle driving magic.
There is nothing worse than a movie that has characters who suddenly turn into experts on something that takes years to master. All those kids at talent shows with their magic wands aren’t prepared yet for their future in the martial arts and street racing.
Need I say more? The movie somehow acquired the lovely Mélanie Laurent and it’s very clear she was there for one reason. Dylan Rhodes needs someone to love! In his final speech where EVERYTHING IS EXPLAINED he tells her there was one thing he didn’t plan on….her. Why don’t you just ask her if it hurt when she fell from the sky?
Laurent and Ruffalo spend the majority of the movie making googly eyes at one another, which I guess is supposed to mean they have fallen in love. She gets in his way, he yells at her, he gets drunk and she smiles. It’s all really charming I assure you, except that it’s not.
She falls in love with a guy that yells at her like she’s a child and questions her every thought. Being that she is an Interpol agent he seems a bit weary to explain his whole backstory of committing crimes. But he does anyway and their love is so strong she decides not to turn him in. They can live a normal life together, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I am actually in love with Jesse Eisenberg and my attraction to Jewish guys certainly plays into that but this makes no sense. It’s not that Franco could or should never look up to the likes of Eisenberg but well actually no, I don’t think he ever would. When you look like a better version of James Franco a twitchy, skinny curly haired twenty something isn’t really cause for worship.
I think Eisenberg can be amazing but semi-straightening his hair and giving him screen time with chesty women does make a leading man. It’s endlessly awkward. I had hopes that he could break out being typecast as the nerd who can’t sit still but I don’t think he can.
The relationship between Franco and Eisenberg would have made more sense if they switched roles. For now, we’ll just enjoy Eisenberg on talk shows with shaky hands swiveling in his chair when he should probably just stay still.
She wears gloves through the entire movie. For no reason. It’s never explained. And it’s distracting. In fact, it seems rather douchey. Someone out there please tell me this is a throwback to something in the magicians circle and not a fashion statement.
There are countless times in Now You See Me where my audience was overcome with joy at the cleverness and supposed comedy sprinkled throughout. So much so they actually did the “I have to clap and laugh because this is just so clever!” move. I guarantee you nothing in this movie was funny or clever. They are more moments where you slouch down in your seat wondering why you walked into the theater to begin with.
Iron Man gets away with a lot of the technological wonders on screen because Tony Stark is supposed to be a super genius. He exists in a comic book world where having an arc-reactor in his chest works on a daily basis. That is not the world that Now You See Me occupies.
So when it tries to throw in cards that when waved in front of each other activate an entire carousel to turn on I can only shake my head. Not to mention there are holograms. The movie has random bits of technology that make you wonder is Dylan Rhodes a magician or actually Bruce Banner using some of Starks toys on a Sunday funday?
Now You See Me wants to think it makes some grand statement about magicians and how cool they can be but only really shows us that magic sucks and you need a computer to make people pee themselves.
I know everybody loves to shit on the government and suggests they are incapable of basic tasks but this is the FBI and magicians are outsmarting them. In fact magicians are MULTIPLE steps ahead of EVERYBODY. I say this because Eisenberg expresses this in some ridiculous line about how the FBI will never catch up to their “3 steps ahead” minds.
You can’t just get into the FBI because you know a guy who knows the guy. They are actually smart people and to portray them as having no idea how to find their way out of a paper bag is wrong. These FBI agents give Corky Romano a run for his money.
The movie tries to overshadow how dumb the Four Horsemen are by playing off stupidity with another group. The jig is up guys; I’m on to you.
At the end of the movie after they have take their final bow the Four Horsemen end up in Time Square watching news footage of their great escape. Alright, so you’ve become a national sensation sending shockwaves across the masses and you just made your dashing escape. Where to go, where to go? TIME SQUARE OF COURSE! No one will see you there!
It’s not that they spend an abundance of time there but they spend over 10 seconds, which is dangerous. If we are to believe they have become the famous rebels the movie paints them out to be then heading to a part of New York City constantly filled with people seems ridiculous. The camera pans around in classic Leterrier style emphasizing that every screen is showing footage of their last trick.
Every time I find myself in a pickle trying to outrun the FBI crowds of people are where I head first.
Some of the greatest mystery films are that way because the audience gets a chance to work things out on their own. There also isn’t the light bulb moment where one characters explains how things got from point A to B.
In Now You See Me, not only is there that character but he delivers this speech over and over. Morgan Freeman acts as the all knowing being that just can’t help but connect all the dots for you.
What fun is this while watching a movie? He constantly ends up explaining how the Four Horsemen pulled off all their miraculous tricks, step by step. This is accompanied by brief cuts of exactly what he’s saying. It’s like listening to director’s commentary where he or she narrates what is happening in the movie. There is no work left to be done by the audience and this leaves room to drift off thinking about what you’re having for dinner tomorrow.
This is why moviegoers have become lazy and the art of ambiguous endings have gone by the wayside. Many viewers need everything spelled out for them and those are the ones that enjoy a movie such as this. On some level they think it’s smart and they feel smarter. In fact many will exclaim “Oh yeah that’s how I thought they did it” but in reality this is the dumbing down of all things great. Every time Freeman would speak I felt like I was watching Shutter Island and Ben Kinglsey had brought out his chalkboard.
We got an earful of this in the trailer as each character spits out countless puns about magic. I mean after all the first rule of magic…..
Let’s not even get into the title of the movie. A majority of the dialogue consist of two characters squaring off making mini-jokes about magic and what it all means. It’s like playing the game where you’re only allowed to speak in the form of questions. Ultimately it’s hard to actually get anywhere which is great for a movie right?????
Every actor delivers these quips with such seriousness it makes you wonder if there are endless outtakes where they turn to camera and ask, “Seriously?” There is having fun and then there is ruining everything. Now You See Me doesn’t even walk a fine line, it dives into the latter.
I’ve come to one conclusion about this movie, it’s for stupid people who think they’re smart and have a great sense of humor. Many will walk away talking about how Now You See Me had them on the edge of their seat and that they were genuinely surprised with the twist. Others will end up like me, having restless nights thinking of fourteen more reasons this movie is a giant pile of shit. In the end I kind of wish I could look past these issues and enjoy myself. But then I realize I don’t want to be stupid and for every ten Now You See Me’s there is one film out there that can bring that feeling of hope back.