Hugh Jackman as Rupert Angier
Christian Bale as Alfred Borden
Michael Caine as Cutter
Piper Perabo as Julia McCullough
Rebecca Hall as Sarah
Scarlett Johansson as Olivia Wenscombe
Samantha Mahurin as Jess
David Bowie as Nikola Tesla
Andy Serkis as Alley
A strong cast and an interesting sci-fi twist makes “The Prestige” worth checking out, but expect a slow pace at times and a few complex twists and turns.
In the late 1800′s in London, two rival magicians find themselves at odds after a magic trick goes tragically wrong. Rupert Angier, now out for revenge, plots to ruin Alfred Borden. But when Borden creates the best magic trick ever seen, Angier is dumbfounded. He becomes obsessed with finding out how the trick works. But Angier’s quest to upstage Borden takes a shocking turn when he meets Nikola Tesla. The scientist creates a device that ensures Angier will upstage Borden, but at what cost?
“The Prestige” is rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images.
As a comic book fan, I got a big kick out of seeing Wolverine, Batman, Alfred, and Gollum/King Kong all on the screen together in one film. Despite this, you never think of their superhero alter-egos while watching “The Prestige.” In fact, the stellar cast is a lot of what makes this movie interesting. Bale, Jackman, and Caine are all excellent in their roles. Jackman is given the opportunity to show both the good side and dark side of his character. The same goes for Bale. The result is a pair of very complex characters up on the screen that are neither hero nor villain. (There were times, though, that I thought Jackman and Bale would have been better if they had switched roles mainly because Angier is a darker character which suits Bale.)
“The Prestige” has a twist towards the end that is worthwhile and unexpected. It requires a lot to get the audience to go along for that big leap, but by the time they do, you’re emotionally invested in the story and characters. You buy into it.
I didn’t see “The Illusionist,” so I can’t really compare these two magician films. What I can say is that as interesting as “The Prestige” is, it does drag on at times. The film runs well over 2 hours and it feels like it. Things pick up dramatically when the ‘twist’ takes place, but that doesn’t happen until it’s about 2/3 over.
I also felt the film bent over backwards to try and explain the twist to the audience. It seemed very obvious what happened to me, so the explanation seemed totally unnecessary. That being said, I heard a lot of people trying to explain the twist to their friends as they walked out of the theater. Maybe the explanation was necessary after all. Adding to the complication, the story is told in a nonlinear manner. There are flashbacks within flashbacks that can be a challenge to follow at times. I imagine the people that didn’t get the twist were probably really scratching their heads.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of any of the lead actors or Christopher Nolan then you’ll want to check out “The Prestige.” It’s a complex film, but one well worth viewing.