Every year, a movie comes along that is bursting with star talent, making it a must-see. The 2013 release of “Now You See Me” is one such movie. The film is a thriller, but the cast is an eclectic mix of dramatic and comedic actors, making the tone of the film somewhat suspect without further research. Some of the actors are recognizable by the sound of their voice alone. Together, the cast of “Now You See Me” make the movie even more intriguing than its magicians and cops and robbers plot.
About the Film
“Now You See Me” is a thriller that follows two magicians and their crew as they seem to rob a bank in France. During the possible holdup, however, the magicians are performing a live act in Las Vegas. After showering the audience with money, the two magicians, played by Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, come under the radar of an FBI agent played by Mark Ruffalo. The magicians are a part of a criminal group-which includes Isla Fisher as the beautiful Henley-with a message, and the FBI must find them before the final trick becomes the biggest crime of the century.
A Few Comedians
The cast of characters in this thriller includes well-known comedic actors Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Isla Fisher. Even Morgan Freeman has played several funnyman parts over the years. Harrelson is usually the drunken or stoned, clumsy free-spirit (“Cheers,” “Seven Psychopaths,” and “Kingpin”) while Eisenberg is the straight man with snarky comebacks or a modest, neurotic, bumbling charm (“Zombieland,” “30 Minutes or Less,” and “Rio”). Fisher is the sweet, charming, clueless, but very funny girl in several films, including “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Rango,” and “Wedding Daze.” Piling these funny people into a thriller shows that there will be at least a few laughs to lighten the tension at times.
Some Dramatic Actors
Harrelson, Fisher, and Eisenberg have also played their share of dramatic roles. Other cast members for “Now You See Me” are more rooted in the genre of drama, however. Michael Caine is best known for his serious roles in “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins.” He has also showed some serious dramatic chops in “Children of Men” and “Inception.” Ruffalo has also taken several turns around the dramatic film scene. “Shutter Island,” “The Kids are All Right,” and “Where the Wild Things Are” are all serious roles in which Ruffalo has recently shone. These serious acts alongside the comedians will bring the edge needed to drive the audience deeper into the film as it goes along.
Morgan Freeman is a veteran magician helping the FBI in the film. It is also his voice that many people will recognize in the trailer. Freeman has a soothing, rich voice that people will know from his work in several documentaries, commercials, and even the ABC News introduction. He is also a dramatic actor with roots in thrillers and actions films (“Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls”), making him an anchor that will help keep the thriller on track.
Those Making Small Appearances
Some of the minor cast members may be known by other roles and not so much by name or voice. Dave Franco is a face that audiences may remember from “21 Jump Street” and “Fright Night,” both recently released reboots. He is also the brother of renowned actor James Franco (“Milk” and “Pineapple Express”). Common is a rapper turned actor who has appeared in “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and “Wanted.” Michael Kelly is another name that audiences may know from “Changeling” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” These actors are famous in their own right, with faces that have appeared in some of the biggest movies of the decade.
What the Lineup Means for the Movie
Such a robust cast doesn’t seem to allow much room for the script and direction to shine, but the opposite is likely true. Other movies with similar well-known casts have been successful audience pleasers, despite the variety. “Crash” is one movie that comes to mind. The dramatic actors lend a polished edge to the film that keeps the comedians in line while slipping in some snarkiness that ends up being just enough to keep the tension loose yet still very intriguing. Rounding the cast out with veteran supporting actors like Common, Kelly, and Franco ensures that the film will be well worth the ticket fee. Thus the cast of “Now You See Me” is reason enough to watch the film, even if the plot is too shadowy to decide.