The Magician (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner03/05/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Superbly written, frequently hilarious comedy that marks writer-director Ryan out as a talent to watch.

What’s it all about?
The Magician is a zero budget mockumentary that was a hit with audiences at last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. Australian writer-director Scott Ryan takes the lead role as Ray Shoesmith, a Melbourne hitman who agrees to be the subject of his neighbour Max’s documentary. However, it’s clear that neither of them are really aware of what they’ve let themselves in for.

The Good
The Magician doesn’t really do anything that wasn’t done ten times better by Man Bites Dog. However, this is less about sensationalism and more about the surreal humour in the relationship that develops between Ray’s cocky hit man (who looks like the scrawny lovechild of David Beckham and Willem Dafoe) and foreign film student Max.

The Great
The script is genuinely hilarious in places, with several laugh-out-loud scenes. Although the film is ostensibly about Ray, it’s Max who steals the film, despite never appearing on camera. Totti is either genuinely foreign and amusing or is an incredibly gifted comic actor – his innocent, matter-of-fact delivery of the line, Why don’t you lend him your underpants? will have you laughing for days afterwards.

Worth seeing?
Although the central idea isn’t particularly original, the hilarious interplay between the characters ensures that this is well worth seeing. It’ll be interesting to see what Ryan does next. Highly recommended.

Be the first to review The Magician...
image
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

image
02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

image
03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

image
04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

image
05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 22/08/2014 20:37

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Lucy (15)

Scarlet Johannson stars as a woman whose brain power is exponentially increased after she ingests a powerful new drug.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.