Valdosta Daily Times


June 10, 2013

An after-thought for ‘After Earth’


VALDOSTA — Movie Review: J. Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Franco) are The Four Horsemen, a team of the world’s greatest illusionists. They are sponsored by the very wealthy promoter Arthur Tressler (Caine), who plans to make plenty of money from the magicians’ shenanigans. The Four Horsemen manage to steal money from a bank in Paris and give the money to their audience. The trick is how they got the money from Paris to Las Vegas.

This sets up a competitive clash between The Four Horsemen and an elite FBI squad, led by Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Laurent). Unable to prove The Four Horsemen are magically stealing money via daring heists, the FBI enlists the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman), a magician-turned-investigator who proves how illusionists accomplish their tricks. Still, The Four Horsemen are always one step ahead of law enforcement.

Nothing is more terrible than a good film with a very terrible conclusion. This is case with this entertaining film.

In the first 10 minutes, some films get your attention, letting observers know they are in for a treat. “Now You See Me” easily ensnares its audience with clever moments that leave you anticipating the next scene. This works excellently until the film’s last 15 minutes.

At that point, the film ruins itself by trying to explain what transpired. Those last few scenes drastically dissuade prior ones because of the impracticality presented. The plot introduces too many implausible variables. Even more, the last two scenes leave an even bigger gap in the story.  

The cast is a large group of talented performers. The film easily manages to make each a pivotal part of the story. This is good as it makes one wonder who is who when mysteries start to unravel. Each actor gives a great performance and makes his or her character interesting. This is a plus for the movie. The characters are more entertaining in many ways than their actions for the overall plot.  

If one is part of this film’s audience, enjoy it for the entertainment value it presents and cleverly written trickery. This is where the film scores points, despite the plot’s farfetched and improbable elements as major distractions.

Grade: C+ (The illusion is engaging but not compelling.)


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