Michael Caine, 80, and Morgan Freeman, 76, continue to act. This is magic enough for the normal person. For those that need more, see them triumph once again in Now You See Me. Or, Now You See Them. In 1966, when Michael C. was a young man of only 33, he starred in the highly successful film Alfie. It had a great title song by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Hal David. BB is now 85 and calls Caine and Freeman both “sonny boys.” Remember this for later.
NYSM is a movie about magic tricks. It starts with four struggling young magicians and pulls them together in a mysterious place. They see some amazing things. A year later they are now on the big stage in Las Vegas. Their tricks, to say the least, seem miraculous. The two best known young folk are played by Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. Their first big trick is sending a member of the audience through space and time to a bank vault in Paris. The audience member then reappears in LV and the miracles begin. Since the miracles involve lots of money disappearing, the FBI and local authorities are hot on the case. Mark Ruffalo is the perplexed agent who gets some help from an Interpol beauty from France played by Melanie Laurent.
MC is the multimillionaire who shows up at the shows and promotes the Four Horsemen, as the young magicians are known. MF is a magician who sells his own magician exposure DVD’s and helps the FBI figure out all the tricks. Kind of.
Featuring big set piece magic stunts created mostly by powerful computer magic, NYSM is a great and fun ride. While a little inconsistent, and with a few plot holes about as wide as the Pacific Ocean, the pace is so fast that it’s hard to digest the story as you are swept up in the ongoing magic and heist stunts.
All of this is played out while the young magic folk are on the run. We get some neat action scenes and a good chase sequence thrown in for good measure. The writers do a great job of using the razzle-dazzle and action to cover up what is really going on, and although you have a good chance of figuring it all out, think back to the really neat trick the film opens with and realize you may have been had. Again.
You may also reflect back on the song by BB in 1966 and remember the opening lyrics, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” Not sure it made any real sense at the end, but I sure enjoyed the trip along the way.
Rated 3.8 out of 4.0 reasons to go ahead. Pick a card.