The Prestige

July 20, 2008 - Between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Christian Bale and the Nolan brothers found time to make this 2006 movie about rival magicians at the start of the 20th century. Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson also star. And, see if you can spot David Bowie in a small but pivotal role.

Bale plays Alfred Borden and Jackman is Robert Angier. In the beginning, they're part of the same magic show in London. But then, Angier's wife, who is also part of the act, drowns during one of the tricks. Angier blames Borden and it's game on to see which one can become the premiere magician of the day. The two battle it out with little regard for the other people involved.

The title of the movie refers not to a person but to a thing. In the introductory voice over, it's explained that every magic trick has three parts. The prestige is the third part in which whatever was made to disappear is made to reappear. The thing is that, in order to achieve the prestige, you might have to get your hands dirty. The movie is all about just how much blood Borden and Angier are willing to accept.

Overall review: *** The movie is a tad more than two hours long. The first half felt kind of slow, but the last hour is intense and engrossing as Borden and Angier raise the stakes higher and higher. It's fascinating to see just how far each man will go to pull off the prestige and to get revenge on his rival.