Review: The Prestige

Can the ever-so-dazzling Scarlett Johannson work a little bit of magic in this tale of dueling magicians?

In short: no.

Though lauded by many critics and playing host to personal favorite Michael Caine this is in the end a movie with too many twists, too little misdirection. Utterly unacceptable in a movie (ostensibly) about men who have mastered the craft of hiding important things until just the right moment.

And Tesla. Tesla! His inclusion in the movie is just so ridiculous and out of place as to jerk the viewer (at least this one) out of the subtly ominous atmosphere that the early portions of the movie seem to work so hard to preserve. A keenly chosen palette of colors along with a suitably drab, unaffected score help to place the viewer in a place where almost anything can, and does, happen with very little psychological backing to place it in context.

Director Chris Nolan does get a chance to strut his stuff as a master of flashbacks and other storytelling tricks, but to the movie’s detriment. The turns and recovered memories, however complex and interesting they might seem, perturb the film’s natural rhythm and create a plodding pace that doesn’t fit with the thriller that the movie begs to become as it rushes toward what is clearly intended to be the big finish–the great reveal.

In the end, for me, this movie devolves into a very basic and uninteresting premise that goes on far too long for my tastes: a clash between two rival magicians.

But instead of grand men with grand ideas fighting for superiority, we have children bickering over whose toy is best.

The acting was fine, not stellar.

Score: 72/100


3 Responses to “Review: The Prestige”

  1. the subtitle of garedux is misleading. i am not scattering my seed across ANY wind.

  2. yeah I think I saw this movie on the plane…I liked the color palette of the movie, with all the browns and the warm lights. I didn’t like much else though….

  3. Pfft…fine Siu, don’t scatter you seed. We dont want it out in the wild anyway!

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