Oh! Oh! Oh! It’s magic… The best magic tricks from movies
Magic hasn’t always been popular – they used to burn people who were any good at it at the stake. It’s all the rage now, a rage that lasts a thousand years according to Freddie Mercury. With the Incredible Burt Wonderstone in cinemas, Ross McD counts down the greatest magic tricks ever pulled on screen.
5. The Illusionist
The Illusionist was a good film in its own right. It just suffered the unfortunate timing of being released at the exact same time as the sort of similar and far superior The Prestige. Ed Norton pulls the rather impressive stunt of making an orange tree grow before the audience’s eyes. But it’s his subtle sleight of hand in the lead-up to the trick that we like most, such as the slow motion drop of the orange from one hand to the other, only noticed by a small section of the audience. Even more impressive, where the hell did the soil in the empty bucket come from?
4. The Prestige
Ever wonder who’d win in a fight between Wolverine and Batman? While Christopher Nolan gets most of his plaudits for his Batman movies and Inception, this gem is as good as either. Obviously, I’d be contradicting myself if I didn’t put this above The Illusionist. There are plenty of great tricks in this film, which make for even better watching when rival magicians Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale sabotage each other. Neither man can be accused of not being dedicated to his art, but it is The Great Danton’s ‘The Real Transported Man’ that really shocks – tenfold when the method is revealed.
3. The Dark Knight
Ah, who’ll ever forget this screen introduction? With a simple slam of a skull onto a table, Heath Ledger didn’t just make that pencil disappear – every doubt over casting, every pre-emptive Jack Nicholson comparison, every scornful Ten Things I Hate About You reference, also disappeared up into that guy’s eye socket never to be seen again. Much like everything else for that poor henchman.
2. The Usual Suspects
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. That’s a matter of opinion, and one from somebody who probably hasn’t seen many of his card tricks. Of course, Kevin Spacey’s Verbal Kint isn’t actually talking about Satan, rather one of his protégés, Keyser Soze. The story of how he made his entire family disappear is a great one, but he blasphemes the magicians code by explaining how he did the trick. Jerk.
1. The Life of Jesus Christ
Just as The Prestige must come above The Illusionist, we can’t really have Satan outranking Jesus in the list either. A dab hand at party tricks, Jesus was the saviour of mankind but in particular caterers. Later in his career, he would pull off the big crowdpleasers like resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven, but it is his early food tricks we like most, like Feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes (is the plural of ‘fish’ not ‘fish’?). Of course, nothing quite tops turning water into wine, an especially popular trick in Ireland.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE MAGIC TRICK?