There has been a sudden stream of movies revolving around magic, of course there's the obvious fantasy stuff with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, but what I am really on about is movie revolving around stage magicians. Last October we had the simply amazing Prestige, a dark movie that had one of the best twists I have ever seen in a movie. Next came The Illusionist, an inferior movie to The Prestige, but a movie once again extremely good. So now we have Magicians. Although most notably there is a huge difference between Magicians and The Prestige and Illusionist. You see Magicians is a comedy, its not a period piece like the last two, and this movie in all honesty couldn't give a toss about magic. Magicians is the first movie outing for Mitchell and Webb, stars of cult TV Show Peep Show. I personally have never seen Peep Show, but from what I've seen of the pair on chat shows I can tell that they are very funny people, and thankfully aren't as one note comedically like the Little Britain duo are. The trouble with comedians going into movies is the fact the movies usually fail miserably. This was proved specifically with last years dire Alien Autopsy starring Ant and Dec. I was looking forward to Magicians, but was also aware it was probably not going to be that good. However, what a nice surprise it is to say that Magicians is a very funny movie. Its hit and miss as times, and I am still not one hundred percent certain that the storyline should have been stretched out into a feature length movie, but the movie itself is very funny. Yet it has one ultimate flaw, its not in the least bit memorable. Already, just a few hours after seeing it I'm starting to forget a lot of it. By this time next week I might have forgotten it completely!
The lead duo of the movie, David Mitchell and Robert Webb are what make this movie great. The pair are extremely talented comedians, and any scene they share together in the movie is a true blessing as they have some hilarious sequences with each other. Unlike Ant and Dec they also seem to work very well on the big screen as well as the small screen. The pair might just be able to make a big break in the movie business, this would be brilliant as the pair are very talented, and with a few more movies in their bag they might just become comedy icons. The supporting cast also very much surprised me, as its the supporting cast who threaten to steal the entire movie from the two leads. Jessica Stevenson is a joy to watch as the dippy assistant, and she gets some of the best scenes in the movie. My personal favourite is a dance scene that is actually funny to watch (yes Spiderman take note, we want dance sequence in comedies, not superhero movie!). Peter Capaldi runs over the hills with the movie as the compère of the magic show, a role that was so brilliantly written. Darren Boyd also has a great role as Webb's agent.
The comedy rate of the movie is pretty high, yet there is still a lot of misses dotted about the movie. The trailer for this movie had me slightly worried since it seemed a bit more child friendly than I imagined, with the notable exception of the "suck my wand" line. Thankfuly the movie is as crude as I wanted it to be. But the movies comedy really sparks when Mitchell and Webb are on screen together. Unfortunately this happens all too infrequently and is one of the major reasons this has got a lower rating than it would have done. The pair have such great sequences together, that when they're taken apart it seems like the movie is desperately filling in a large gap with other characters. Sometimes these characters manage to distract the audience, but it is noticeable at times, and some of the jokes fail quite miserably to hit the right note. Matters cannot be helped when it is unavoidable that the movie isn't memorable. I had a good time while watching the movie, but by the end I became aware that I couldn't remember a lot of it. The comedy never reaches great heights, its a movie full of small laughs and the occasional bigger laugh. But there's nothing here that will really have you rolling in the aisles. In this respect this movie never really suits the talents of Mitchell and Webb as its always noticeable that the actors are funnier than the movie they're in.
Magicians in the long run is a good, solid piece of fun. It features brilliant performances and will hopefully propel Mitchell and Webb's career to greater heights. But its not the best movie for the pair, and its essentially an elongated sketch for a movie. But it'll give you a laugh.