How to write a confusing ending, but make it work. A review of “Now You See Me (2013)”

Movie Review: Now You See Me.

This is a movie that we rented maybe by accident. No one had ever heard of it, and no one remembered ordering it… but that didn’t stop a single one of us from loving it to pieces.

Initially, my husband decided not to watch, so I watched with my 13 year old son (I probably could have let the younger ones watch too, because there was only one curse I remember, a Sh#t. In a very appropriate place)  Anyway, we were originally going to watch half the first night and finish it the next night.

Nope. Didn’t happen. There is no turning his sucker off.

Since I’d never even heard of it, I’ll give you a ultra-short synopsis. This is about a group of four fairly descent magicians brought together by an “unknown” person to form the greatest magician act of all time. They commit robbery right on stage in front of packed houses, and give the money away.

Great new premise for me– yes, with a Robin hood appeal… but more twists and turns and surprises to even keep the action junkie in me screaming for more. (Because yes, the FBI and Interpol are trying to catch them the entire time)

Now lets chat a minute about the ending.  Yes, everything wraps up, but my son and I turned to each other and said “Huh? What happened?” Normally, this would tick me off to no end. But it didn’t.

The next day I said to Dude: “Did you figure out that ending?”


“But did you still like the movie?”

“Yo, totally. It was awesome.”

And I had to agree. It WAS awesome.

Neither one of us “got” part of the ending, but it did not spoil the utter enjoyment of a nice, clean thrill ride.

Intrigued by my lack of hate over this, I roped my husband into watching it, and I re-watched the ending with him. He was less confused than we were, pointing out that every last thread of a very complicated plot was ironed out.

Yes, it was, and quite beautifully. Someone spent a great deal of time mapping this sucker out.

But, I said, “What about [that one scene] what happened there?”

My husband laughed and said. “Who cares?”

You know what? He was 100% right.

Who cares?

For the first time I had something about an ending that I was not completely happy with, but I really didn’t care. This may end up on my list of favorite movies to watch again.  The cinematography and magic shows alone are a hoot to watch.

And everyone who watches the movie will probably have a different explanation about what happened in “that scene in central park”, but does it really matter?

When story-telling is this good… no, it really doesn’t matter.

A few minutes ago I went scoping around to see if this was originally a book. If it was, I could not find it. I would have loved to see from the characters’ POV what happened in “that scene”. But since I will probably never know, I will make it up. I can do that. I’m an author.

And that’s okay.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that’s okay.



14 responses to “How to write a confusing ending, but make it work. A review of “Now You See Me (2013)”

  1. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve always been okay with films or books having minor “unanswered” questions. Maybe because that’s the way life is—we don’t always get resolution—and so I feel as if the story is “more realistic” that way. But a major unanswered question? Or something that contradicts everything the story has been building to? Nope! Don’t leave me with an ending like that. 🙂

  2. I’m going to have to see this movie, Jennifer. You’ve intrigued me. Thanks. I’ll let you know if I can figure out that scene…or not. Thanks for an interesting post. ~Victoria Marie Lees

  3. That was a fun one. Watched it with the family. I’m a fan of complex plots,and I don’t remember being confused by anything at the end. Everything seemed to tie together, but maybe I missed something. The closest thing to a hole is an open ending. Which is ok, because that leaves your imagination to fill it in. It didn’t require explanation.

  4. How wonderfully liberating! 🙂
    … this movie has been rattling around in the back of my head as a ‘must watch one of these days’. Now, I think I will.

  5. My sons saw this movie, but I didn’t. I meant to catch it later. I’ll have to rent it. Now you’ve got me intrigued. 🙂

    I can forgive a few unanswered questions if the ending otherwise satisfies me, but if there are too many holes, I get a bit frustrated.

  6. I watched this with my daughter and she said it was the best movie ever (I think she said that of Super 8 and Hunger Games, too. All valid statements!). I loved the ending. Like you I immediately try to find holes in the plot in cases like this and I admit I couldn’t find any. Very well done. A little Sixth Sense-ish.
    Trivia: Isla Fisher nearly drowned filming the water tank escape scene which she did for real without stunt person. Apparently she couldn’t get out and the failsafe mechanism failed. Something like that anyway.

  7. I haven’t seen this one (and lots of others I must catch up on). Now I want to go find a DVD. 🙂

  8. I saw the movie when it first came out on DVD and loved it. I remember my son and I wanting to see it on the big screen but didn’t get around to it. I, too, loved the film. I thought it was great the way everything came together. I don’t remember having trouble figuring it out. Maybe I should watch it again. 🙂