9 Seriously Smart Movies That Trick You By Having Two Twists

5. Two Equally Bonkers Magic Tricks - The Prestige

Twists The Usual Suspects Two Jpg
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

The Movie: Told in flashbacks-within-flashbacks, The Prestige is already a pretty twisty films - there's alternate identities, moral uncertainty and some good old fashioned double-footing - but the real meat lies in how the central pair do their respective Transporting Man tricks. On the one side you have Christian Bale's Borden, a craftsman, while on the other you have Hugh Jackman's Angier, an egotistical showman.

The First Twist: After two hours of teasing, we finally learn how Borden did his trick; as Michael Caine was saying all along, he used a double. Borden and assistant Fallon are actually twins, devoting themselves to the act for all their life, no matter the cost (be it lost love or amputated fingers). The big hit is that, to avoid any ego issues, they took turns, both in life and in the trick. And that's because, for them, it's all about the art.

The Second Twist: The secret Angier's transporting man isn't so elegant. Telsa developed a teleportation device, but with a glitch; it created a copy, meaning to do the trick right, Angier had to kill a version of himself every single time - for all intents and purposes, the original Angier is dead. Everything comes to a head when the surviving Borden avenges his brother's death, but not before Angier can extol his view on their craft; it's not about how you acheive the trick at all, it's about the look on the audience's faces.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.