By Bob Gibbons
This story begins with small-time magicians doing small-time magic: card tricks, manacles, hypnotism, bent spoons. There is so much energy in their performances, such a sense of entertainment, so much polish and promise that you just know they – and their tricks – must get bigger. And they do. The problem is – by the third act of this movie, not only has the complexity of their story overwhelmed us, it seems to have overwhelmed them. We’re exhausted, they’re exhausted, and we’re all shaking out heads and asking: “Really….?” It was fun, but everyone was scrambling furiously to plug the gaps, embezzle more money, explain the plot, and make sure we understood everyone’s role and the backstory that drove the plot forward in all its misdirections. It’s as if a magician wasn’t content to pull a rabbit out of a seemingly-empty hat; he also wanted the rabbit to sing a medley of show tunes. We -- and the rabbit -- would have been happy with less. My advice: Pay as much attention as you can – but know that you are in the company of master magicians. You will be fooled. The question is -- to use a British expression: Is this too clever by a half?