Up until now, “Now You See Me,” the magician thriller by “Incredible Hulk” director Louis Leterrier, seemed like a potential sleeper hit. It’s got a terrific cast (including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Melanie Laurent), an intriguing premise (magicians rob banks and then distribute the money to their audiences), and a solid creative team behind the scenes (including frequent J.J. Abrams collaborators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) – but that was before we had seen anything from the movie. Now that a second trailer has arrived chock full of new footage, the question remains – did the filmmakers and marketing gurus show too much of their hand? Or is there enough mystery to get you to come back this summer?
The trailer starts out much like the original teaser, with the magicians (Harrelson, Eisenberg, Lil’ Dave Franco and Isla Fisher) performing in front of a packed Las Vegas audience. Their trick is teleporting a volunteer to a European bank, where they use the volunteer to rob the bank and distribute it to the audience. We then get more plot specifics – the “Four Horsemen” (as the magicians call themselves, even though one is a woman…) come under fire from Michael Caine, who plays the owner of the robbed bank, and Ruffalo and Laurent as the FBI Agents on their tail (looks like Common is in there too).
Morgan Freeman, as a fedora-wearing weirdo, assures Caine that his bank was merely a distraction – something to keep people occupied until their big finale. Freeman also gets to say stuff like “You do realize this is a game played out on a global scale,” which sounds like voice over narration even if it isn’t. Ruffalo marvels how, a year ago, they were all street magicians and now they are pulling off these big heists, and the movie suggests something supernatural and not simply magical, might be at work. (We got a distinct ‘Indiana Jones‘/”Da Vinci Code” feel towards the end of the trailer.)
In the last 30 seconds there is a car chase, people flying inside a giant bubble, and at least three characters jumping off a building and turning into fluttering piles of money. The visual effects have a sleek sheen, and we’re interested to see how mystical the material gets. What we’re worried about, though, is that some of the surprise is gone from the movie, and that the rabbit in the hat might have hopped out already. Then again, maybe there are more surprises to come. As Morgan Freeman says in the trailer, “Come in close, because the more you think you see, the less you actually know.”
“Now You See Me” is out on May 31st.