Humans have an inherent need to tell a story and walk away mystified by the questions it raises and the power it produces. The film Now You See Me aims to entice the audience about the essence of wonder that captivates our minds into contemplating the 'what if' question.
What if magic were real?
FBI agent Dylan Rhodes, played by Mark Ruffalo, is in a frantic race to get to the bottom of the turbulent magic, from the robbing of an overseas bank to tricking a millionaire into donating to the general public. He is convinced that the magicians are performing an illegal act of magical charity that needs to be stopped regardless of the clever magic tricks played against the eager agent.
What starts off as a portrayal of the individual lives of street magicians turns into a team on a quest to prove their skills as well as their faith and enter an obscure secret society where the truth of the magic is found through the trick. It's unfortunate to admit that the truth of the magic is less intriguing than the content of the storyline behind the buildup. Instead, what we come to find out through Thaddeus Bradley, played by Morgan Freeman, is that the unexpected suspect turns out to be the real magic man who went through lengths to satisfy his own personal vendetta and in turn, satisfy our flair for suspense. After a shocking truth is found out, the unclear finale of what the secret society really entails is disappointing.
The movie is successful in portraying quizzical questions to the mystery man behind the operation, yet lacks in character relationships as well as character history and depth. We see the magic, we learn how the magic happens, but we always want that operative question to give us more than what we see and know to answer the simple one word question of 'why?'
Interpol detective Melanie Laurent, played by Alma Dray, is far from what her character role implies and is nostalgic as well as compliant to the role she has a responsibility for: to catch the criminals. And although the all-star cast including Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Michael Caine give flair to the picture, the movie was vague and lacking in substance that gives us the magical feeling when we walk out of theaters.