HOLLYWOOD—The heist thriller “Now You See Me” isn’t what many think it to be.  Spectators may come into the movie having little hope, but will be thoroughly surprised upon leaving the multiplex.  The picture stars Jesse Eisenberg as Daniel Atlas, a member of a group of magicians who have pulled off a risky heist that involves robbing a bank inParis, while inLas Vegas.

Eisenberg brings an intelligence and enigmatic energy to the character that makes him quite charming to the audience.  Trust me; the magic trick displayed by the magicians who also include Henley (Isla Fisher), Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) is an awesome spectacle.

The theft of the bank prompts FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol Agent Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent) to get involved.  They equip the assistance of former magician Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), who makes a living exposing the tricks of former magicians.   With Bradley’s assistance, Rhodes and Vargas are almost certain they will prove “The Four Horsemen” guilty of their crimes of robbing multiple banks from Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine); a wealthy insurance connoisseur.  Freeman is a duplicitous character that will force the audience to question his motives.

The reason the movie works so well is its story.  The script is fresh, full of twists and full of suspense. The audience is taken on a fun ride where you’re not quite sure how things will end, but watching it unfold is the surprising aspect. All I can say is the ending will indeed blow your socks off as it comes out of left field, but it makes perfect sense upon another viewing of the movie.

Screenwriters Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt mesh a crafty thriller with an original trope of characters that each have their opportunity to shine on the screen.  Director Louis Leterrier does a compelling job staging the extravagant magic tricks as well as balancing the wit, comedy and drama of the picture.

“Now You See Me” continues to bring in big bucks at the multiplex, which opens room for a sequel, which the picture has plenty of room for.

By LaDale Anderson