Superficial flash: Heist flick offers only illusion of greatness

By Richard Roeper

The first few scenes of Now You See Me deliver the promise of the best film about magic since the release of two meticulously crafted and thoroughly entertaining 2006 films: The Prestige and The Illusionist.    

In a series of quick and neatly wrapped sequences, we see four tricksters plying their trades (and don't blame me for their comic-book names):     Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) entertains a crowd (and seduces a babe) with a simple card trick that pays off in spectacular fashion.    


Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), a self-proclaimed mentalist of the highest order, blackmails a philandering husband right in front of the man's hypnotized wife, who will remember nothing once she snaps back to full consciousness.    


Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) entertains the crowd on a ferry and fleeces the guy who THINKS he busted Jack. (Dave Franco looks so much like James Franco he could be James Franco's younger brother, which he is.)    

And Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) pulls off a daring, Houdini-esque stunt with a literally bloody payoff.    

Whether working the streets or onstage, they're all quite good in very different ways— and they've all been recruited by a mysterious unknown to pull off some of the most audacious stunts in the history of deception. Audio review.

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