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Plot: A pair of rivaling stage magicians are forced to confront their falling out over a guillotine mishap when they compete in a magic competition.
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|6.0/10 Votes: 5,693|
|6.2 Votes: 50 Popularity: 5.352|
Now I Remember It, Now I Don’t
There has been a sudden stream of movies revolving around magic, of course there’s the obvious fantasy stuff with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, but what I am really on about is movie revolving around stage magicians. Last October we had the simply amazing Prestige, a dark movie that had one of the best twists I have ever seen in a movie. Next came The Illusionist, an inferior movie to The Prestige, but a movie once again extremely good. So now we have Magicians. Although most notably there is a huge difference between Magicians and The Prestige and Illusionist. You see Magicians is a comedy, its not a period piece like the last two, and this movie in all honesty couldn’t give a toss about magic. Magicians is the first movie outing for Mitchell and Webb, stars of cult TV Show Peep Show. I personally have never seen Peep Show, but from what I’ve seen of the pair on chat shows I can tell that they are very funny people, and thankfully aren’t as one note comedically like the Little Britain duo are. The trouble with comedians going into movies is the fact the movies usually fail miserably. This was proved specifically with last years dire Alien Autopsy starring Ant and Dec. I was looking forward to Magicians, but was also aware it was probably not going to be that good. However, what a nice surprise it is to say that Magicians is a very funny movie. Its hit and miss as times, and I am still not one hundred percent certain that the storyline should have been stretched out into a feature length movie, but the movie itself is very funny. Yet it has one ultimate flaw, its not in the least bit memorable. Already, just a few hours after seeing it I’m starting to forget a lot of it. By this time next week I might have forgotten it completely!
The lead duo of the movie, David Mitchell and Robert Webb are what make this movie great. The pair are extremely talented comedians, and any scene they share together in the movie is a true blessing as they have some hilarious sequences with each other. Unlike Ant and Dec they also seem to work very well on the big screen as well as the small screen. The pair might just be able to make a big break in the movie business, this would be brilliant as the pair are very talented, and with a few more movies in their bag they might just become comedy icons. The supporting cast also very much surprised me, as its the supporting cast who threaten to steal the entire movie from the two leads. Jessica Stevenson is a joy to watch as the dippy assistant, and she gets some of the best scenes in the movie. My personal favourite is a dance scene that is actually funny to watch (yes Spiderman take note, we want dance sequence in comedies, not superhero movie!). Peter Capaldi runs over the hills with the movie as the compère of the magic show, a role that was so brilliantly written. Darren Boyd also has a great role as Webb’s agent.
The comedy rate of the movie is pretty high, yet there is still a lot of misses dotted about the movie. The trailer for this movie had me slightly worried since it seemed a bit more child friendly than I imagined, with the notable exception of the “suck my wand” line. Thankfuly the movie is as crude as I wanted it to be. But the movies comedy really sparks when Mitchell and Webb are on screen together. Unfortunately this happens all too infrequently and is one of the major reasons this has got a lower rating than it would have done. The pair have such great sequences together, that when they’re taken apart it seems like the movie is desperately filling in a large gap with other characters. Sometimes these characters manage to distract the audience, but it is noticeable at times, and some of the jokes fail quite miserably to hit the right note. Matters cannot be helped when it is unavoidable that the movie isn’t memorable. I had a good time while watching the movie, but by the end I became aware that I couldn’t remember a lot of it. The comedy never reaches great heights, its a movie full of small laughs and the occasional bigger laugh. But there’s nothing here that will really have you rolling in the aisles. In this respect this movie never really suits the talents of Mitchell and Webb as its always noticeable that the actors are funnier than the movie they’re in.
Magicians in the long run is a good, solid piece of fun. It features brilliant performances and will hopefully propel Mitchell and Webb’s career to greater heights. But its not the best movie for the pair, and its essentially an elongated sketch for a movie. But it’ll give you a laugh.
Waste of Money and Talent
I’m not joking. This is not a throwaway 1 out of 10. It’s midnight, I’m tired and want to sleep but I have to write this before I forget tonight’s cinematic shocker. This is hands down the worst film I have ever seen, and I have seen The Avengers and Not Now Comrade, so that’s really saying something. I had to leave this film half way through, such was its appalling suckiness, and come to think of it I managed to stay all the way through Ghost Rider so don’t think I don’t have willpower. This film just truly blew.
First of all, to the other reviewers who rated this god-awful tripe anything more than 1 out of 10 (apart from the 10/10 scorer who is obviously with the film’s marketing team) – have you actually ever seen a funny film? Saying “suck my wand” on its own isn’t good enough. Go and rent out This Is Spinal Tap, Ghostbusters or Planes, Trains and Automobiles – that, my friends, is how to make a funny film.
So what is wrong with it. First of all, why magicians? Everyone hates magicians. Magicians think they are smarter than you. Oh look, you fooled me with your MAGIC TRICK. Always remember that magicians are terribly lonely OCD cases who will obsessively learn how to flick a card up their sleeve for days at a time. They are worse than mime artists, at the bottom of the entertainment barrel. So why do I want to watch a film about them? Answer: I don’t. Unless it’s The Prestige. Shhh, move on…
Secondly, how did the writers (who have previously done such quality work as Peep Show, The Thick Of It and Smack The Pony) not notice that they had forgot to put any jokes in it? This “comedy” is resolutely chuckle-free until at least an hour in – when my girlfriend and I gave up and watched Spiderman 3 instead, which at least justified its ticket price with some impressive special effects. Which brings me to:
3. Mitchell and Webb. Apparently the only super power they have these days is the power to stomp all over their incredible comedic potential by doing every job they’re offered. They’re everybloodywhere! I used to listen to them on Radio 4 and they did some of the most genuinely hilarious sketches I have ever heard. But since they took the Apple shilling I just can’t get away from them. They seem to have the whole voice-over industry to themselves now! Death from overexposure. But just putting them into something does not *magically* make it funny.
Finally, what really takes the biscuit is that this film was part financed by the National Lottery. Which means that some good cause somewhere has had to go without funding so that Mitchell and Webb can not be funny in this crappy film.
And that really sucks.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 30 min (90 min), 1 hr 30 min (90 min) (European Film Market) (Germany)
Director Andrew O’Connor
Writer David Britland, Andy Nyman, Anthony Owen
Actors Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Sarah Hadland
Country United Kingdom
Awards 1 win
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Stereo
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Arricam LT, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux HR Lenses, Arricam ST, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux HR Lenses
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (source format)
Printed Film Format N/A