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“Award-winning actors Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson star in ‘The Prestige,’ the twisting, turning story that, like all great magic tricks, stays with you. Two young, passionate magicians, Robert Angier (Jackman), a charismatic showman, and Alfred Borden (Bale), a gifted illusionist, are friends and partners until one fateful night when their biggest trick goes terribly wrong. Now the bitterest of enemies, they will stop at nothing to learn each other’s secrets. As their rivalry escalates into a total obsession full of deceit and sabotage, they risk everything to become the greatest magician of all time. But nothing is as it seems, so watch closely. And be prepared to watch it again and again.”
“The Prestige” is rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images.
“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.
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