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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Magicians: Life in the Impossible

Featuring an unwieldy title, Magicians: Life in the Impossible pulls the curtain back and reveals the true story of four practicing illusionists. While the tricks behind the tricks thankfully remain hidden, once the pomp is removed, the practioners seem rather ordinary.

This reveal is likely the goal of Marcie Hume and Christopher Baaden’s exercise, (with a little help from magician extraordinaire Lance Burton as an executive producer). However, the movement begins to feel a little too similar after a while, (magician performs cool trick, audience is stunned, and cut to magician disclosing how difficult the trick was to perform and that the audience should be more appreciative). Perhaps a little more flair would have entranced this reviewer.

Thankfully, the film is not a real-life Burt Wonderstone, a fear coming into the documentary. Though the seen-it-all, done-it-all, slightly faded showman does border a little bit on the “what happens next” trope. A little bit of movie magic could have softened the lighting and revealed some of the rewards, in order to encourage sleight of hand experts to stay for the duration.

[star v=25]