'Now You See Me' has a great premise but doesn't follow through

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Now You See Me' dispenses quickly with its magical premise and turns into a noisy thriller. 'Now You See Me' stars Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Woody Harrelson.

Barry Wetcher/Summit Entertainment/AP
'Now You See Me' stars (from l. to r.) Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Woody Harrelson.

Four top notch magicians team up to wow audiences in Louis Leterrier’s “Now You See Me,” one of those movies with a terrific premise and a less-than-terrific follow-through. The magicians here, played by Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco, pull off Robin Hood-like extravaganzas, including the fleecing of a corrupt billionaire, played  by Michael Caine.

With the FBI and Interpol on the team's tail, the film dispenses with its magic (and magical) premise and turns into a noisy smash-and-bang action thriller. There is nothing magical about seeing one’s umpteenth car chase. Mark Ruffalo plays the weirdly scruffy FBI agent on the case, while Morgan Freeman, in super-slow mode, plays a famous magic debunker. He’d make the ideal critic for this movie. Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for language, some action and sexual content.)

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