09 November 2006

The Prestige

The Prestige Pleases

For those of you dreaming of a showdown between Wolverine and Batman, your time has come. This movie pits these two great actors against each other with the aid of Bruce Wayne’s Alfred. Ok, enough with the comic book references. Now, let us get on with the review.

This movie centers on the conflict between two rival magicians that used to be friends. It is told in a sort of flashback type writing. It opens with Borden on trial for the murder of Angier. But throughout the story, we find our characters feuding and fighting each other in the past.

The rivalry is started when Julia Angier, played by Piper Perabo, is killed during a trick. Her husband, Robert Angier, played by Hugh Jackman, accuses fellow audience plant Alfred Borden, played by Christian Bale, of tying the wrong knot. Michael Caine is Cutter. He is the backstage hand for the act. They all separate and go their own ways.

Borden moves on and gets married and had a child. He then decides to get back in to the magic business. He decides that his big finale trick is to catch a bullet. Angier, who has no been able to move on past the death of his wife, shows up and ruins the trick and shoots off the fingers of Borden.

Cutter then confronts Angier about setting up shop as a magician. They decide their finale is going to be a different take on an old favorite. Borden shows up and ruins the trick and gets Angier fired.

This goes on for a while until Borden comes up with a trick called “The Transporting Man.” In this trick, he bounces a ball across the stage and enters one closet and comes out on the other side of the stage in a totally separate closet and catches the ball.

Angier develops his own take on it. Borden ruins Angier’s take on it only causing Angier to obsess over how he did it. This is where Scarlet Johansen comes in. She plays the stagehand for Angier. She is sent over to Borden to figure out his secret. More tricks are played on the feuding magicians. Finally, Angier travels to America to meet with Tesla to have him build a machine to transport him.

The climax of the film is the 2 revelations that occur. Each magician has his secret. I followed Angier’s no problem, and I thought you were meant to until the last scene when the spell it out for those that are slow. Yet, Borden’s twist, I never saw it coming. I should have, though. This movie will be great to watch again, knowing the end and seeing all the signs along the way. Thinking back on the movie, I am mad at myself for not figuring it all out.

Now, I am going to make a quick, obvious comparison done by most. The Illusionist is a completely different style of movie and story. It was about illusions. That is why I figured it out and was not surprised by the twist ending. I enjoyed the film a lot. You can read my review on it. The Prestige is a story about revenge. This one is set more in a fantasy type world. Where Norton’s movie is set in reality, for the most part. Bale and Jackman battle in a world that is historical, but fantastical as well. I like both movies, but, if forced to choose, I would pick………..THE PRESTIGE.

Verdict: See this at least twice. Take your pick on where. I advise once in the theater, then rent it or buy it. Well acted, well directed, fully enjoyed.

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