Now You See Me (2013) Film Review

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J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKenney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) are four magicians (of different varieties) who are brought together by a mysterious other, they don’t know why. They appear as a big new act in Las Vegas; “The Four Horsemen” and do a performance that lead FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol Agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) investigating their every move. The magicians are being bankrolled by multi-millionare Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and the authorities are being assisted by a magician who now makes his money revealing tricks, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). But who is who, and what is really going on?

I’m not a massive fan of magic. It’s not that I don’t get it; I reckon I get as wowed as most people. I just don’t really care how it’s done. I’ll go along for the ride if I must, but I’d be just as happy avoiding it. What I do like is a really clever film that has everyone one step ahead of everyone else… or, at least, you never really know who is doing what for who and why. And I really, really love that moment at the end of a heist film where everything is revealed, or the final plan takes place. Spy films, too. What is really ace about this film is that there are several times when all this happens. It is fast, constantly confusing and totally amazing.

Loved it. Lots.

The Avengers (2012) Film Review

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So much of what I want in a good action film can be found right here – lots of superheroes, fights, ego clashes, and a city being destroyed by aliens. Marvelous. (of course it’s Marvelous. It’s from Marvel)

Loki and the ice gods from the film Thor have come to Earth to take over (If you haven’t seen Thor, there is some background to The Avengers in it which is good, but not totally necessary). Secret government agency Shield is stepping in to deal with it, and assemble their crack team; Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Dr Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Captain America (Chris Evans). All those egos, all those different approaches, and of course, it almost brings the team apart. But, they learn to work together, and that’s what’s important in life.

It’s possibly not important to have seen the various films leading up to this one before, although I’m still not sure who Hawkeye is and how he fits into the whole Shield picture. Natasha Romanov had a part in Iron Man 2, and seeing that again after seeing The Avengers gives her character some background, but not too much.

The thing I loved the most about this flick was the quick-witted dialogue, and it was not surprised to see Joss Whedon credited as director and co-writer in the closing credits. That and seeing Robert Downey Jnr and Mark Ruffalo onscreen bantering, which was pretty awesome.

As with all of these Marvel films, watch to the end of the credits – there’s a teaser for a future adventure. Hopefully, The Avengers 2 – let’s get these guys back together. Oooh, just checked IMDB… The Avengers 2 – 2015!

The Avengers was nominated for an Oscar for Visual Effects and a BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.