Darkly comical and refreshingly unpredictable, The Magician
never goes for the throat as viciously as its most obvious predecessor -- Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel’s celebrated cinema verite
comedy Man Bites Dog
-- yet it doesn’t seem to be quite aiming for the same target as that deranged classic. While writer/director/star Scott Ryan’s debut feature may be somewhat derivative, it’s impossible to deny that the film possesses its own unique charm. By intercutting between multiple storylines and giving the unusually easygoing protagonist more time to interact with his victims, Ryan allows us a curious glimpse into the mind of a hired killer who is...