Christopher Nolan scores once again with this fascinating, engaging, tense, and mystifying thriller about a rivalry between two magicians that turns deadly. It's basically just a twisted and dark tale about obsession, rivalry, and revenge set in the world of Houdini era stage magicians, and that's cool.
Given that it's a Nolan film though, and that the subject matter is magic, illusion, and trickery, you can expect this film to not be straight forward or clear cut. I absolutely loved this when I first saw it, giving it 4 1/2 stars. Like Inception, I'm revisiting it, and I'm docking it, since it has lost some of its inital impact and wow factor, but I'm far less impressed with this one compared to the other. In fact, this might actually be one of his weaker films, at least in my opinion. Yeah, most people give that distinction to Insomnia, but that one doesn't really infuriate me like this does, mostly because I had ambiguity and trickery, and twist upon twist for the sake of it. I say that, and I love Inception, but that sort of thing didn't feel focred. Yeah, it was convoluted, but this is more so, and it sticks out here as really being forced due to the magic angle. I really should have expected this, but my original viewing was at a time before I'd really gone through all sorts of changes, and my tastes and views weren't as they are now.
I do dig this film, but the endings are an issue, well, one of them (the Jackman one). Didn't really accept that one so much this time. The other is fine, and I dig it, but it really felt like Nolan was being twisty and screwing around for the sake of it here, and it fell flat. I still like this movie though, as it is pretty well crafted, but it just overdoes things...too much, too often.