Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Ed Solomon (screenplay), Boaz Yakin (screenplay), Edward Ricourt (screenplay), Boaz Yakin (story), Edward Ricourt (story)
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher
Runtime: 115 min
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Released: 31 May 2013
Storyline: Four magicians each answer a mysterious summons to an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they are the Four Horsemen, big time stage illusionists who climax their sold out Las Vegas show with a bank apparently robbed for real. This puts agents Dylan Rhodes of the FBI and Alma Dray of Interpol on the case to find out how they did it. However, this mystery proves difficult to solve even with the insights of the professional illusion exposer, Thaddeus Bradley. What follows is a bizarre investigation where nothing is what it seems with illusions, dark secrets and hidden agendas galore as all involved are reminded of a great truth in this puzzle: the closer you look, the less you see.
We open with J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) demonstrating a card trick to us, as he explains, “Come in close. Closer. Because the more you think you see, the easier it will be to fool you. Because what is seeing? You’re looking but what you’re really doing is filtering, interpreting, searching for meaning. My job: to take that most precious of gifts you give me – your attention – and use it against you.”
Chicago, Monday: Daniel is a street performer in Chicago. He is shown doing a card trick to an attractive young girl. The seemingly typical card tricks climax in the side of the John Hancock Center somehow reflecting his card. The performance is being watched by a mysterious hooded man whose face is never seen.
Afterwards, the attractive girl, who turns out to be a big fan of Daniel, charms him into taking her to his apartment for sex. Before they can begin, though, he is distracted by the discovery of a “Lovers” tarot card. On one side of the card is the text “March 29th; 4:44 PM, 45 East Evan Street, NY, NY.”
New Orleans, Tuesday:
At a restaurant, we meet Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), a street mentalist and hypnotist. He demonstrates his act on a married couple. First, he hypnotizes the wife so she can’t speak or move, while he gets under the brain of husband, and through his mind reading exposes the man as an adulterer who is sleeping with his wife’s sister. Merritt then fleeces the man out of $250 before hypnotizing them into “forgetting” the matter. While he’s packing up his posters, he finds a “Hermit” tarot card.
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