This one has actually been on my "to-see" list for quite some time. I mean, it's a heist movie featuring magicians, so it was always this different and cool concept I enjoyed the looks of. A "right up my alley" kinda thing.
The movie opens with four separate magicians, Danny Atlas (Jess Eisenberg), Merrit McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henly Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). They each show off their unique skill sets to the audience, and each receive a mysterious tarot card, calling them to meet at a specific spot.
Upon meeting up, they come to realize that they have been lured together in order to team up, and deliver a grand performance one year later in which they "rob a bank" as part of the act. This sets an FBI agent named Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), and Interpol agent named Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) on their tracks.
Also joining the cast is the man funding the Four Horsemen (as they call themselves), Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and a fomer magician who now reveals secrets of the trade on his YouTube channel, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Each of them seem to serve as sort of neutral parties, going at each other, while there's a whole bigger picture to be seen.
If I'm honest, the movie managed to confuse me in places. Often times, I found it moved a bit fast or got a bit convoluted with the varying characters to keep track of. It all leads up to a pretty good twist in the end, though, so that likely has a lit to do with the few "what the hell just happened" moments. That likely has a lot to do with it. And even the ending itself is something that'll either blow your mind, or that you predict from the get-go. When all said and done, the twist could feel like a total cop-out to some.
Negative aspects aside, however, there's a lot to enjoy about the film as well. The Four Horsemen's stage presence is pretty convincing as professional magicians as opposed to just being the actors playing these guys. I thought the coolest thing in the movie was probably Eisenberg's first magic trick, in which he totally got me. Yes, there is an explaination for it, I'm sure, but it was still really neat to think that a movie would go to those lengths of illusion for its audience.
All in all, I have to say I enjoyed it. But its definitely on that long list of movies that I'll need to go back and watch a second time at least. It's the type of movie where you'll no doubt pick up various clues along the way upon re-watching it.