The Prestige (2006)


It’s Batman vs. Wolverine, except with a little twist of Houdini.

At the dawn of the 20th century, rival magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) endeavor to reveal each other’s secrets. Obsessed by the escalating competition, the two illusionists begin to perform increasingly risky tricks, which soon turn deadly.

I never really thought that magicians actually took this stuff as seriously as this movie’s giving us. But hey, it’s Christopher Nolan so I wasn’t expecting anything different.

The film is once again written & directed by the brain-child of the 21st century, Christopher Nolan. He goes back to his old-school style of non-linear plot narrative, to show us all these different sides of each situation. But the great thing about the movie, is just how the story is. It’s all a magic trick. You start out with your ordinary characters, in your ordinary situation, and then you realize it’s a Nolan film, so shit has to get out of whack. So then Nolan gets your mind wrapped in a twist with this whole story, as your trying to keep up, as it goes along, and then the trick happens. The final twist. I’m not going to lie, I liked the ending, I thought how everything turned out to be was great, and the way Nolan directs his smart script matches everything write within this film. Watch closely, cause you will have to be thinking a lot.

There is also more than just magic tricks and how these two try to one-up the other. The film also shows a great deal of how much obsession, and sacrifice can start to take over your life. Both of these dudes just want to do magic tricks, but then after awhile, they start to sense a challenge of who’s better, so they lose a sense of reality, and just try hard to be the better magician, not man, but magician. I also liked how Nolan didn’t just show us all these secrets to the tricks themselves, he lets the audience actually ponder, what’s happening, and how it’s happening. Also, the set pieces of turn-of- the-century 19th century of Colorado was great, because the look is just so dark, and bleak that it feels like the right mood for this material.

I had one problem with this film, and it was the fact that I think that Nolan was trying to confuse and put so much twists and turns into the movie, that he started to lose his audience. Some of the twists, seem like they could actually happen, but some times they just seem un-scientifically based, and it kind of annoyed me. He loses his audience many, many times and never really takes them back on track exactly.

Christian Bale turns in some great work here as Alfred Borden, as well as Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier. The film always balances out who’s the good magician, and the evil magician, mostly cause both of them are. They both do devilish things to over-come the other one’s trick, and it goes back and forth, until the end and you see who reall is the biggest doucher. Michael Caine is great in this, but what else can you say, he’s always the voice of reason in any movie. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t bother me as much here, so she’s alright. David Bowie is surprisingly good in here as Nikola Tesla, even though it is a random casting, he still does a good job.

Consensus: The Prestige may abandon it’s audience, but the film is inteligently written & directed by Christoper Nolan, that’s full of twists and turns, as well as the great cast that can back it all up.

9/10=Full Price!!

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15 comments

  1. I was slow to seeing this one, but caught it a few months ago and it blew me away. I haven’t been able to write about it yet because I’m still absolutely blown away by it and just want the magic to linger. Excellent review!

  2. In the end I didn’t like The Prestige. Just to say, without spoiling it, and if I remember correctly, it raised a question similar to something I always asked myself when watching Star Trek: when you get beamed up, all your atoms are disassembled on the ground and a whole different set of atoms are assembled to recreate you on the ship, so is that new you really you, or just somebody that thinks he/she is you? In other words, please don’t beam me up!

  3. This is easily Nolan’s masterpiece. Such a fantastic delving into the rivalry of these two obsessed men. My only real major issues it that I feel that the women characters could have been really compelling but Nolan just ends up doing not that much with them, which disappointed me.

    • It is disappointing, but also a good thing, since the one female just so happened to be Scarlett Johansson. So let’s be happy she didn’t have to belch out anymore lines!

  4. I watched this a few days ago and its just fantastic. If I hadn’t seen Inception I would say this is my favorite Nolan film but I did, so this is a close second. There is one thing that stands out to me Christopher Nolan before Inception is that each added something that the previous lacked, you can see the evolution of Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker and all the things he learned in that time just came together in Inception. Now if he could only have a female character with some depth…, maybe Catwoman in Batman 3

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