4
By Marco Chacon
Dec 09, 2006 09:44 AM EST

The Prestige Theatrical Review

The Prestige Theatrical Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
The name comes from the three parts of a magician's tick: the Pledge (you are shown something ordinary: a coin), the Turn (wherein something extraordinary happens--the coin vanishes), and the Prestige (the coin comes back behind your ear). In this period piece two stage magicians with a serious hate-on for each other duel over a series of years to upstage, ruin, or kill each other. This isn't rivalry--it's obsession.

With Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman cast as the rivals it's a heavy hitting cast. However, David Bowie cast picture-perfect as Nicolai Tesla steals the show. He makes his actor-ly rivals ... disappear.

Movies about magic need to do two things:
1. They need to take us behind the scenes.
2. They can't ruin the illusion.

As the movie says, a trick explained becomes mundane--uninteresting. So this is a fine line to walk. Ultimately The Prestige does some stuff that's jaw-dropping in terms of what you'd expect but it's Hollywood so I don't think it has to play fair--and for my money, it plays fair enough. You see how some of the tricks are done: some are clever. Some are gruesome. There's a trick they'll never sufficiently explain (and, as I said, that's okay). The story is told out of order--misdirection? You can decide.

There are some reveals throughout the movie that are well (and subtly telegraphed--subtle enough that they may not generate an "oh yeah!?" moment, well enough that when the two magicians watch a famous Chinese magician getting into a carriage and comment on his sacrifice in pretending in public to always be a cripple that we can see later on at least one of them knew what he was talking about).

If the movie has a weakness it's that Michael Caine is the most likable guy in the whole movie ... by far. I mean the two stage guys do have some elements of sympathy to them but if you do step back just a bit it's Jerk and Jerkier. This does not really endear me to the show in the way I'd have preferred.

So, yeah: The Prestige. Nasty enough to be good. A little too nasty to be great!
Share this:

Directed By:

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 128 minutes
Distributed By: Touchstone Pictures

For more information about The Prestige visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Marco Chacon

FlickDirect, Marco  Chacon

Marco Chacon isn't quite sure what he's doing here. Exposed to radioactive movies at a young age he has gained the proportional strength and agility of celluloid which hasn't proved good for much. However, on the Internet, it's opinion that counts (who needs facts!?) and Marco sure has one of those. Several, in fact. Some contradictory. He has also written and published the JAGS Roleplaing Gaming System. Read more reviews and content by .



comments powered by Disqus