Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) perform in Las Vegas as “The Four Horsemen” As part of their show, they end up robbing a bank and distributing the loot to the general crowd, but cannot be charged of the crime. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is called to investigate the theft and is partnered with Interpol Agent Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent). They interrogate the Four Horsemen, but release them when no explanation for the theft can be found. The plot unfolds as Rhodes, along with the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), an ex-magician who makes money by revealing the secrets behind other magicians’ tricks, delved deeper into the case and finds out the dark secrets related to this group of magicians.
A large-scale film about magic and robbery, it has the kind of plot that has a twist at every corner. The characters themselves seem to keep guessing about what will happen next so you can imagine how it can be for the audience.
Jesse Eisenberg is an arrogant hustler who lets you know that he’s going to fool you and then pulls it off anyway. Woody Harrelson plays his opposite, a slow-talking, devious “mentalist” who sizes people up and reads their secrets from unconscious clues. Isla Fisher, is a Houdini-type escape artist, and Dave Franco, darts around as a pickpocket moving faster than thought. A heavyweight star-actor (post The Avengers) Ruffalo gets into the skin of his character. He forms a big part of the twist in the end. His portrayal of the shrewd and calculating FBI Agent Rhodes is bang on. He brilliantly manages to pull off the haggard look, which is contrary to what’s actually going on in his character’s head.
This film, may just remind you of Nolan’s The Prestige, but that will be purely because of the whole ‘magic’ angle. It comes across as a poor cousin of Ocean’s Eleven and can be best described as passable cable TV fare.