Thursday, May 17, 2007

MAGICIANS - way weaker than Peep Show

Mitchell and Webb are very funny British comedians best known for their bleakly comic TV series PEEP SHOW and more recently for the British version of the Mac versus PC ads. Sadly, their transition to the big screen is weak beyond belief. The laughable* premise is that they were two magicians who stopped performing together when one caught the other in flagrante delicto with his wife and then chopped off her head accidentally on purpose in a stage act. They reunite four years later out of sheer desperation to compete in a Magic competition that yields a £20k cash prize. This competition is set in Jersey for no apparent reason other than to allow a few weak jokes about the fear of flying. Don't get me wrong - there are some funny scenes. But no more than you'd get in your usual 30 minute TV episode. It's as though the writers have taken the regulation quota of funnies and filled in the other sixty minutes with an entirely predictable lame "plot" that could've been bought by the yard on Drury Lane. Towit, there's a half-hearted attempt to satirise "mind-monger" magicians like David Blaine and Derren Brown, but the writers don't make enough of it. Another interesting fact is that by far the funniest person in the movie is a magician's assistant played by Jessica Stevenson. So Mitchell and Webb have created a star vehicle in which they are not even the stars! Craziness.

THE MAGICIANS is on release in the UK. Do yourself a favour and just watch Peep Shown on Channel 4 for free.*At, not with.

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