I had literally never heard of The Prestige, but (unlike seemingly the majority of the movies on the 100 Best Movie chart we bought), it appeared to be neither a Mafia movie, nor a Western. That alone sold it to me.
And you know what, for the first twenty minutes or so, I quite enjoyed it. Fun magicians performing fun magic tricks, lovely Victorian costumes, plus Hugh Jackman took off his shirt, and I don’t want to be sexist, but it doesn’t exactly ruin a movie when that happens, does it?
Michael Caine did a brilliant Michael Caine impression throughout; you know the one – he does it in literally all of his movies. (Except The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, which genuinely is one of the greatest 100 movies of all time, and it’s a travesty that it has been missed off this chart.)
Scarlett Johansson wandered round in little more than a corset, so much so that her boobs deserved their own billing. It didn’t seem strictly integral to the plot, but I couldn’t really complain because Hugh Jackman took off his shirt. Did I already mention that?
Then I got a bit confused. The timeline flipped backwards and forwards. Both magicians appeared to have stolen each others’ diaries. Their practical jokes on each other got more and more gory. Pap, but enjoyable pap nonetheless.
Enjoyable that was until the denoment. Spoiler coming up if you haven’t seen it.
What are the two laziest plot points in explaining how any sort of mystery is unknotted? Deus ex machina, right? More specifically?
- Actual magic
This film used both of them (the first you could see coming from a mile off). But seriously? Twins and actual magic? And talk about deus ex machina – the magic literally came from a machine. As, in fact, did a dazzling array of twins. Lazy, lazy, lazy writing.
Would have only awarded two points, but Hugh Jackman did take off his shirt.