At the height of their theatrical success, Magician superstars Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi ) lose their audience to 'Brain Rapist' Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) who elicits shock and awe via dangerous stunts, such as cutting his cheek open to retrieve a card.
Burt and Anton have no choice but to impress their boss Doug Munny (James Gandolfini) by rigging an elaborate 'hot in the box' act where they must remain inside a suspended, transparent, box for a week. Twenty minutes into the routine, however, Burt's hysteria causes a public disaster that marks a falling out between the famous duo.
With only a savings bond from his grandma to live off, Burt finds work at a retirement village and by chance meets his childhood hero and so our down and out protagonist re-ignites his passion for genuine magic.
Meanwhile Anton is providing aid to Cambodia in the form of magic kits, rather than essential supplies such as food and water. Anton conveniently returns to Las Vegas after his failed endeavours. By coincidence Anton meets Burt again and the two reconcile their break up during an awkward and funny scene where Burt sobs and delivers barely comprehensible lines. They make amends and join forces to face their common threat, Steve Gray.
Burt's Love interest Nicole … Jane (Olivia Wilde) vies for a partnership in the Burt/Anton duo by showing off her skills. The characters throughout the film are not explored in great depth but that is okay because this a dumb-funny movie. Jim Carrey fans will see lots of his signature zaniness too.
The narrative builds to a final performance where Doug Munny offers a lucrative entertainment contract for his new casino. Burt, Nicole and Anton pull off an amazing illusion which had the cinema in stitches well after the credits started rolling.