Now You See Me is a restless heist thriller about a team of professional magicians who are supposed to do spectacular assignments while performing onstage and play cat and mouse with the cops. With an amazing cast, director Louis Leterrier's movie is quite entertaining from first to last. Especially because the audience is being left in the dark during the third act - just like the investigators. It's a shame though that the main tricks are being explained on the one hand but that CGI and rough cutting is required to make the tricks look more spectacular on the other. Digging deeper, one can find more things that make you raise your eyebrows. But all in all, Now You See Me is still good for movie night. The box office result was so high that the sequel has already gotten the green light.
Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain the Theatrical Version and the approx. 10 minutes longer Extended Version which contains more story elements that are really worth it on the one hand but also a lot of scenes that are only trivially longer on the other hand. That's a result of the need to save as much time as possible in the Theatrical Version (e.g. "water is leaking out of the tank for a few more frames", "the shot of Jack standing at the riverside is half-a-second longer"). Considering the point of view, one might call one scene censored because naked breats would have been too much for a PG-13 rating (that being said, one might also call the Extended Version Now You See 'Em from now on). But before everybody starts to scroll down to the mentioned scene, let me just say that the irrelevant extensions have been ignored to make the reading of this comparison more comfortable. Only the relevant differences have been listed here. But of course, marginal differences that make actually sense (except for the sake of sparing time) are going to be mentioned anyway.
Compared are the Theatrical Version (PG-13) and the Extended Edition (Unrated) (both available on the US Blu-ray by Summit Entertainment).
54 relevant differences, among them
36 extended scenes
10 scenes with alternate footage
4 additional scenes
3 extended scenes with alternate footage
The Extended Version is 9 minutes 27 seconds longer than the Theatrical Version.
Extended Scene with Alternate Footage
0:00:33: The beginning is different yet. Daniel makes a few comments in both versions while playing with a deck of cards.
The Theatrical Version implies he's doing it in front of an audience while the Extended Version reveals that he's standing in front of a mirror in his own apartment. He also makes a few comments in the Extended Version: you would just watch but you're actually busy filtering, interpretating and figuring out if it makes any sense at all. And his job was to accept the most valuable gift an audience could give him and use it against them: attention. Then a tracking shot of Chicago at night.
Extended Version 25.44 sec longer
0:02:02: Further skyline shot before Merritt's first entrance. This time of New Orleans.
0:03:14: When the woman beating up her husband, Merritt steps aside. It looks like the Extended Version tries to cover up a plothole from the Theatrical Version because he there implies she was going to get upset ("gonna get upset") even though she was upset already while the Extended Version contains a different of shim saying that she looked a little upset.
Extended Version 2 sec longer
0:04:14: Slowly but surely, one might as well call the longer version "Extended Landscape Cut": another ladscape shot, this time of the Statue of Liberty.
0:04:20: Slightly extended shot of the ferry. Furthermore, only the Extended Version illustrates the time and place: "New York. Wednesday."
0:05:29: Yay. Los Angeles. Thursday Night.
0:11:18: When Daniel explains to Merritt why he had called Henley fat, she illustrates her opinio about the trap door ("You built it THIS size.").
0:12:26: Extendes shot of the troup searching the apartment.
0:13:29: Daniel also compares Merritt to Buddha except for the epiphany. He shoots back straight and compares Daniel with Jesus in arrogant without being capable of performing miracles. Henley tells them to get a room.
0:22:50: Additional shot of the money rain.
0:22:54: And another tracking shot.
0:24:04: Agent Fuller also says "Let's go.". Then a shot of the entourage walking across the casino. The Theatrical Version begins when the Extended Version ends and sticks with the troup. Irrelevant.
Extended Version 3.44 Sec. longer
0:24:54: Rhodes asks Alma straight: "Who are you?"
0:25:41: Rhodes also says to Etienne "Okay, let's just say you robbed a bank..." to which he spontaniously replies "I did!". Rhodes reacts annoyed: "Fine. Fantastic. You did."
0:26:12: Alma smiles when Etienne begins with the violin concert.
Extended Version 1.36 sec longer
0:27:57: When Alma is interrogating Daniel, one can see him not paying any attention and play with some cards instead. In the Extended Version, he intends to perform a magic trick. She's laughing.
Extended Version 8.92 sec longer
0:31:57: A nice little montage of all four interrogation rooms with the team members in it.
0:32:37: Rhodes expects an explanation about who Thaddeus Bradley is.
0:32:50: Rhodes first contact with Alma and Thaddeus Bradley is different. In the Theatrical Version, the scene takes place at a restaurant. In the Extended Version, Rhodes and Alma are being informed about Bradley's importance by his assistent while she's leading them to his office. He started as a magican and was really good at it which is being ironically noted by Rhodes. When they're finally sitting at the table with Bradley, he offers them wine. Rhodes refuses but Alma would like some, to Rhodes astonishment. Thaddeus grabs a water glass and shakes it. A split second later, it's filled with red wine. Rhodes is impressed. The subseuqent conversation remains basically unchanged. But actually, the Theatrical Version makes it easier to understand because Bradley hands out more information about Lionel Shrike and how he died plus he explains the next performance of the Four Horsemen would be in New Orleans.
Theatrical Version 0.4 sec longer
0:38:29: Further shot of the money transporter.
0:39:56: In the Extended Version, Merritt comes up with the sex offer to Henley before the card trick with Alma and Rhodes. In the Theatrical Version, it's the other way around.
0:41:24: Alma reports that one of the horsemen had practiced his tricks up to eight hours a day. But Rhodes is not excited about it, he simpley tells her she should get a life.
0:44:45: Rhodes also instructs his employees to set up an observation post in order to ensure the surveillance and Alma shows her interest in the historical background of magicans a bit earlier.
0:49:19: When Bradley explans it wasn't the first time he'd been threatened, he adds in the Extended Version: "And I'm still here.".
0:49:26: But Tressler doesn't leave it. He adds if Bradley jeopardized his (Tressler's) investment, the dimension of Bradley's fall would be noticeable on the Richter scale.
0:50:06: Entirely new scene in the Extended Version. First, Merritt tries to pick Henley's brain about her sex life but she reacts hostile and makes it clear he'd like to get her between the sheets. But this conversation can evolve, Bradley enters the room. He tries to pick a fight. Apparently, he knows about The Eye and that this is what they are after. Quite remarkable for nobodies and formers. That's Merritt's cue. He ironically thanks Bradley for the compliment because he hasn't even considered himself as former one. He sees himself more like someone who has never been important. He offers a mental reading and describes Bradley as someone who always wanted to be a magican but simply didn't have what it takes and now he wants to benefit from the people who are actually talented. Bradley doesn't like the attitude. Then Daniel asks if he could try another trick on which he'd been working on recently. Bradley is supposed to pick a card (king of hearts) and he already believes he's already figured it out. He presumes Daniel literally had one up his sleeve. But that's not true. Daniel and the others tell him to check his revers. To his astonishment, Bradley finds a card there and it says "Suck it". Pretty miffed, Bradley leaves. On his way out, he says he was hoping the group would break a leg. Merritt says he was hoping Bradley would do so as well.
Extended Scene with Alternate Footage
0:52:28: In the Extended Version, Alma also makes a comment about Rhode's watch but he covers it fast and all he says is he'd inherited it from his family. When she explains she'd figured out Shrikes tree trick, the angle is different in either of the versions but that's not really worth mentioning.
Extended Version 7.8 sec longer
0:53:46: The horsemen sarcastically welcome Rhodes and Alda in the audience. They tell them they could try to put a stop to it if they were capable and smart enough to go through with it.
0:55:57: Henley changes a rabit into a head. Then the shot of Frank swearing his team to the mission in the Extended Version. Also in the Theatrical Version after Daniel's bubble trick.
1:03:49: Alma is running up the stairs.
1:04:11: More sports action.
1:04:18: The hypnotized keep trying to get to Rhodes.
1:05:35: BOOBS! A magical moment.
1:05:51: Michael Bay memorial shot of Rhodes standing on top of the squad car, looking around. Except for the slow motion which makes it only half as cool. That's the reason why there are no screenshots for it.
1:06:03: Again Rhodes looking around, searching for something.
1:10:09: Rhodes is wasted and walks up the stairs.
1:10:56: Rhodes puts down his coat and gun and sits on the couch. He's exhausted.
1:11:15: And another scene shot at an entirely different location. In the Theatrical Version, Rhodes is drinking coffe in the kitchen the next morning and Alma joins him. They apologize (Rhodes for his behavior, Alma for twisting his arm) and Alma explains the meaning of and the ritual to get in The Eye. Rhodes reacts skeptically but they're getting used to each other. That is until until his cell phone malfunctions and the scene ends.
In the Extended Version, it's still the same night when Rhodes is chewing over the book while Alma gets up. She says Merritt had been right calling her a desk criminal because she was better in doing research. Contentwise, it's essentially the same but they both stop right there before it's getting too romantic. Rhodes then notices the malfunctioning of his cell phone. In the next scene, the technician explains Rhodes cell phone was an identical clone. Except for the bug which is also in the Theatrical Version.
Extended Version 20.24 sec longer
1:18:04: Agent Fuller shouts at the SWAT team that they should return.
1:19:01: A few more frames of Agent Fuller in the kitchen.
1:19:08: While he manages to free himself from the chipper, Agent Fuller is forced to execute more drastic measures. He fires off a few rounds on the drain and when the chipper dies, Fuller can finally free himself.
Extended Version 3.92 sec longer
1:19:51: Extended shot of Jack running from Rhodes.
1:21:12: In both versions, Alma is upset that Rhodes left her behind earlier. In the Theatrical Version, she doesn't hold a grudge and they're good. In the Extended Version, Rhodes explains himself. He says it wasn't up to him and he'd like to postpone the conversation but Alma doesn't like it. At the end of the day, she backs down. Subsequently, a further scene with Bradley. He lifts his electric window with a smile on his face and yells where Rhodes and the other were. Then he and a co-worker of his enter his (the co-worker') car.
1:22:33: Alma is confused because Rhodes reported a different direction via radio.
1:22:58: The car chase is longer.
1:24:01: And so is the crash.
1:25:10: Daniel, Henley and Merritt are watching a TV report about the accident in which Jack (allegedly) died.
1:28:28: The remaining horsemen record a video message in which they say it has always been Jack's dream to become one of the biggest magicans in the world and it hadn't worked out very well but they were hoping his life in heaven would be magical at least. They adds they couldn't stop doing what tjey were doing despite their loss because what they were working on was bigger than themselves.
1:35:59: Agent Fuller shouts to Cowan: "Go ahead!". His response: "That's on you, Fuller!"
1:39:59: Different shot of Rhodes looking around during the mone rain. Who cares?
Theatrical Version 1.64 Sec. longer
1:41:09: Different shot of the squad cars driving to Bradley. Totally worth it.
Theatrical Version 1.28 sec longer
Extended Scene with Alternate Footage
1:52:22: Now a flashback with a voice-over of Rhodes in the Extended Version. He explains the day of his father's lethal performance, he had a hunch something was off and he wouldn't let him leave. Then his father gave him the watch and told him to count the seconds until his return. The watch has never stood still ever since (now, the second extension with the watch when the horsemen perform for the second time makes much more sense).
In the Theatrical Version on the other, Rhodes tells Alma he'd only been 4 years old and one can see a picture of him as a 4-year-old in the newspaper.
Extended Version 16.68 sec longer
1:55:51: In the middle of the end credits, the Extended Version contains an exclusive scene. The horsemen are driving to a wrecking scrap yard in the desert. It's full of dumped fair parts. Inside a facility are a few boxes. To be continued...