Wednesday, July 04, 2007
This has been described as "a poor man's Prestige", I happen to agree.
Like The Prestige, it's a period piece about magic, specifically in this case Eisenheim The Illusionist (Edward Norton), also the name of the short story on which this was based.
It is presented in the manner of Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) giving his report to the Crown Prince (a suitably type-cast Rufus Sewell), thus flashing back in the story, it's essentially a standard plot structure though, eventually catching up with itself. It's a love story at it's heart, using magic as a way to move things forward.
The problem is, it's pretty dull, the tension that should've been there seems absent and an ongoing investigation is neglected in favour of a big reveal (quite easily spotted beforehand). Edward Norton can do better and I'd really like to see a really good vehicle for Paul Giamatti, as it felt like he was being held back throughout this.
The Illusionist - 4/10