June 1, 2013

Magical thrills found in ‘Now You See Me’

Posted in Between Us column, Entertainment, Movies at 12:23 am by dinaheng

The world of magic takes center stage in the heist thriller “Now You See Me” when an elite squad of FBI agents and an Interpol detective chases “The Four Horsemen,” a team of professional illusionists who pull off a series of spectacular heists.

But who are the good guys and who are the villains? Like all great illusions, this film will lead you down several deceptive paths while the answer to its mystery is in plain sight all along.Dinah Eng

Following in the path of films like “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Fast & Furious 6,” the team of super-illusionists in this story each have special skills and come together for a common goal. There’s Michael Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a slight-of-hand specialist; Merritt Osbourne (Woody Harrelson), a mentalist; Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), a street hustler pickpocket, and Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Atlas’s former assistant who is now an escape artist.

Chasing them are FBI Agent Dylan Hobbs (Mark Ruffalo), Interpol detective Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent), and Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a specialist in de-bunking magicians.

“In my everyday life, I was a little of a fraidy cat, and hoped that some of Henley’s brave, ferocious abilities would rub off on me,” says Fisher, who began acting at the age of nine. “I’m quite proud of the stunt that I did in the film.”

Fisher’s character has a signature trick of getting out of a 100-gallon, piranha-filled water tank while shackled hand and foot. The actress, who was in the tank for three days filming the segment, says she didn’t know she could have opted out of doing the stunt herself.

(L-R) Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco; Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

(L-R) Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco; Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

“On the last day, I couldn’t free myself of the grate for a minute, which was scary, but I didn’t alert anyone that it was an emergency,” Fisher says. “The tank can drain in 75 seconds if there’s a problem, and there was a quick release on the handcuffs. I was able to get myself out, and learned that I can hold my breath for three minutes.”

Working in an action thriller was a new experience for Fisher, whose credits include “Wedding Crashers,” “The Great Gatsby” and “I Heart Huckabees.”

“It was slick and exciting to see a camera whipping around the stage,” she notes. “It’s not a character-driven picture, so it was more fun. I was in awe of Michael Caine (who plays shady industrialist Arthur Tressler), who’s such an inspiration. It was an honor to be working with him, and please God that I have a career as lengthy as his.”

Fisher says while Eisenberg, Harrelson and Franco got to do a lot of the magic, she didn’t want to be the girl relegated to the sidelines.

“Henley has an unbridled, feminine spirit, and I wanted her to be the brains of the operation, even though you didn’t see her that much,” Fisher says. “After working on this film, I learned that I, too, could be brave.”

For some fast-paced action and magical thrills, don’t miss “Now You See Me.”

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