Who's in It:
Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo
The Basics: Dueling magicians (Jackman, Bale) steal secrets from each other, sabotage illusions, frame each other for crimes and inadvertently cause tragedy to go down in an ongoing vendetta that makes their lives miserable for years. Makes the Paris HiltonNicole Richie thing look like the puny, dum-dum grudge match it really is. Or was, rather.
What's the Deal? It's one of those "Ha-HA! I've fooled you! No, wait! It is I who have fooled you!" movies. So it's fun to watch them zoom each other back and forth. And then, of course, at the end, because it's from the guy who made Memento, you realize that you've been fooled, too. If you hate that sort of thing, then stay away. But if not, then go enjoy the trickery.
No Spoilers, But
If you're even a little bit not dumb, you can kind of figure out what's happening before the big "gotcha!" bit at the end.
Have to Believe We Are Magic: Is this kind of movie going to be a trend now? First The Illusionist, and now this. They're both turn-of-the-20th-century films about "real" magic. Do adults just want their own Harry Potter? Oh, wait; adults already have that. He's named Harry Potter.
Speaking of Trends: This makes two films in a row (the other was Scoop) in which Scarlett Johansson plays a magician's assistant and co-stars with Hugh Jackman. Weird.