Magicians

Monday, July 14, 2008
I've never been a big fan of magic. I suppose it's because I'm cynical. A non-believer. Or the fact that it's something I know I'd be rubbish at. While I realize it takes a great deal of skill to perform some of the "tricks" or whatever you want to refer to them as, and years and years of practice, to me that's all it is - trickery. Fooling the unsuspecting viewer into believing you've managed to make an entire elephant disappear or pierce someone with a sword when in fact it's an optical illusion or sleight of hand. As such, I don't hold much stock in "magic". However, there are plenty of folks out there who practice it or are fans of magic, and that's ok. I just don't. So, it was with much trepidation that I sat down to watch a movie called Magicians last night. (It's also interesting that I've got The Prestige on my movies to watch list...go figure). Actually it shouldn't be that surprising considering my obsession with all things David Mitchell at the moment.

Harry and Karl are lifelong friends and partners in a successful magic act. Harry's married their beautiful assistant, Carol, and thinks life couldn't get any better. Until one day when things go horribly wrong. Right before the big finale, Harry discovers Karl and Carol having sex backstage. Over-come with anger and betrayal, Harry accidentally beheads Carol during the guillotine illusion. Needless to say the magical duo breaks up. A few years later, Harry is down on his luck and broke, having just been fired from his job as a supermarket demonstrator. The only way he can back on his feet and doing what he truly loves, is to enter and win The Shields, a big magic competition. Armed with a beautiful new assistant (played by Jessica Stevenson (Hynes) from Spaced) and a revamped guillotine act entitled the Black Widower, Harry's all set to win the competition. Unfortunately he didn't expect to have to compete against his former friend and partner...

I LOVE Peepshow. I really liked That Mitchell and Webb Look and I enjoyed That Mitchell and Webb Situation. Magicians? Not so much. It had some brilliant moments where it was hilarious but the laughs were few and far between. As the review in the Guardian states: Mitchell and Webb's movie has as many jokes as a Peep Show episode. Unfortunately, it's three times the length. Sadly, the movie just didn't work. The whole cast was underused. When you combine the comedic talents of Webb, Mitchell, and Stevenson (not to mention all the supporting characters), you'd expect to be practically rolling on the floor in a massive chuckle-fest. I merely giggled now and again. And the lack of overall had nothing to do with the movie being about Magic. It could have been about anything (well, anything that included a guillotine) and it still wouldn't have been very amusing.

Sadly, I recommend you give Magicians a pass. Certainly not the worst movie I've seen this year but if you're looking for giggles, I recommended checking out Peep Show.

4 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

I LOVED The Prestige. The Illusionist, not so much, but The Prestige was great. Helps that hottie Christian Bale is in it.

mister anchovy said...

I thought The Prestige was pretty good too.

tweetey30 said...

Never seen this. I do rather watching illusions over magic shows. Those seem more real than magic shows for some reason to me.

* (asterisk) said...

Yeah, it didn't appeal to me, despite having M&W in it. I just had the sneaking suspicion it would be shite.

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