Caper films like this beg you to try and figure them out… in fact this one invites you too. Of course, as a viewer, you may just want to sit and enjoy the ride. Honestly, either way you go, it remains completely entertaining. No matter where I was right or wrong in getting ahead of the plot, they made me smile and enjoy it. The sign of a great magic act is making you love being fooled as much as you love being right (or believing you are)… and making you believe in magic.
Much like his turn in The Social Network, Eisenberg’s frenetic energy and patter really helps drive the energy of the film. As his compatriots, Fisher (The Lookout), Harrelson (The Hunger Games), and Franco (Warm Bodies) cement a wonderful team of misfits together. With Freeman (Oblivion) as essentially their nemesis and Ruffalo (Avengers) and Laurent (Beginners) on their heels, there is always someone pushing the situation forward.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed that the director of Clash of the Titans and Transporter 2 could have improved his craft so much. But after this, and The Incredible Hulk, I’ll have to give Leterrier some more chances now that he seems to be able to pick better scripts. The film was balanced, taught, driven, and, above all, fun. Despite being a well trod trope, it felt wonderfully new in a sea of sequels, prequels, and empty f/x that have been pervading theaters for a while now.
Go, watch, smile, believe.