The Illusionist

With mixed reviews and opening closely to another magic film ‘The Prestige’ it is with trepidation I go to watch ‘The Illusionist’ and unfortunately the reviews were right. Ed Norton, complete with magical training prior to the role, is ok as the mephisto type conjuror and Paul Giamatti is brilliant as the Chief of police but elsewhere Jessica Biel is stale and Rufus Sewell as the prince spend most of his screen time looking like Kenny Everret. The story is basically a rehash of Romeo and Juliet and is so incredibly simple in its execution that the twist pretty much smacks you in the face. With very little plot and annoying voiceovers the film doesn’t even benefit from a score by Phillip Glass and the fact that most of it is filmed in a sepia tinged haze, I imagine to suggest it is set in the past, makes it all the more frustrating to watch. What is quite a nice idea could have been handled better and would have resulted in an interesting movie; sadly it just ends up as boring and ultimately a big let down.

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