The magical sequel promises a lot more practical illusions and less CGI this time around, from impressive sleight of hand card tricks to Jesse Eisenberg’s J. Daniel Atlas actually stopping the rain (we hear Wimbledon have him on speed dial). But like the first film, it also promises more show-stopping set pieces that will leave you wondering, how did they do that? But before you go dusting off your Paul Daniels Magic Set and shoving doves into your coat pockets to become the next Horseman, why not check out our five favourite movie illusions?
Disappearing hanky – Night At The Museum (2006)
How do you appease an angry barbarian? By making a colourful handkerchief disappear, of course. Unfortunately for Ben Stiller’s night watchman Larry, not much gets past the notorious Attila The Hun, who spots a corner of the hanky poking out of Larry’s fake thumb and isn’t too happy to discover magic isn’t real.
Rabbit in a hat – Presto (2008)
In this hilarious Pixar short film, exasperated magician Presto DiGiatagiona must deal with a hungry rabbit that is reluctant to be pulled out of a hat. However, Presto’s hat seems to be linked to another hat backstage, allowing the magician to grab whatever is nearby from his place on the stage, meaning magic does exist and everything we know is wrong.
Levitating lady - Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)
James Franco’s conman Oz seemingly comes a cropper when the audience spots the wires holding up his hovering volunteer. But a swish of his sword cuts the wires and the sheet is pulled away to reveal nothing but air. But how did he do it? Was it wires? We think it’s more wires.
Leap of faith – Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
"Only in the leap from the lion's head will he prove his worth.” Most people wouldn’t step out into a gaping chasm, but then Indiana Jones isn’t most people, otherwise we’d all have cool hats and be handy with a whip. To find the room that houses the Holy Grail, Indy must complete three challenges, the final being a “leap of faith” across a huge canyon. Except the path has actually been painted to look like the depths of the canyon to fool the eye. Those Ancient Semites were a tricksy bunch.
Giant floating head – The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
We can only assume that dogs in general aren’t fans of magic, and that’s why Dorothy’s little pup Toto reveals the wizard secretly working the controls behind the impressive smoke and fire effects. The imposing giant head that scares our adventurers is nothing but the result of a projection and a series of levers. It’s always a series of levers.
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