Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Illusionist (**1/2)

One of the previews before The Illusionist is for a film called The Prestige, due to be released later in October. It's another movie about magicians in the early 1900s, and it stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and is directed by Batman Begins' Christopher Nolan. It looks awesome, and all I could think of as I watched The Illusionist is: I'd rather be watching The Prestige. That's not to say The Illusionist is bad. It's not. It's an interesting film: well-acted (although how could it not be when it stars Ed Norton and Paul Giamatti), engaging story line, and lots of magic. But it's weighed down by a heavy-handed romance, a bit too many supernatural trappings, and a twisty ending that I didn't buy for a second. It's a real Usual Suspects-type reveal that's supposed to be cool, and I'm sure many people will think so, but I don't think you should be surprised by a movie called The Illusionist which doesn't try to trick its own audience with an illusion.


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