Battle Royale: Movie Magicians vs. Real Magicians

It's Potter time again, and to celebrate, we're launching a battle that will make the Tri-Wizard Tournament look like... the... er... Bi-Wizard Tournament? Needless to say, it will be awesome.

In a hotpot of hocus pocus hardmen, this battle sees magicians from the movies face off against the stars of Saturday Night television, Las Vegas, and dubious publicity "stunts".

It's a sorcery styled smackdown, and it's starting... now!

British Magicians

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) The Harry Potter Series (2001-)

Titular student of wizardry at Horwart’s, Potter is also believed to be the chosen one, who will defeat the evil Lord Voldemort and vanquish dark magic.

Along with friends Ron and Hermione, Harry has survived 6 years of school and several attempts on his life, and he’s going to need to use that experience going up to survive this battle.

Sex? No. Drugs? No. Not A Normal Teenager Then?-ness: 10

Didn't you get In Your Kit Off In Equus? Really? Ew. Factor: 10

Magician Rating: 9


Paul Daniels

Staple of British magic and entertainment for over 40 years, Daniels starred in his own show on the BBC between 1979-1994.

Married to assistant Debbie McGee, he has garnered numerous awards and an international following, though his popularity has waned in recent years…

So Debbie... What's All That About Then? Factor: 10

Didn't You Used To Wear A Wig?-ness: 9

Magician Rating: 9

Let Battle Commence!

Quick off the mark, young Potter surges forward, but trips over a shoe lace, which he still can’t tie.

Daniels pulls a rabbit out of a hat, screaming “You’ll like this, but not a lot” and hurls it at the boy – but it simply bounces off, causing no damage.

“Here’s one you can’t do” shouts Potter distracting Daniels by grabbing his full thick head of hair, and pulling it, taunting the balding magician.

It looks like Daniels has had enough though, and gets assistant Debbie McGee to flash the youth.

Potter, never having seen breasts before, is distracted long enough for Daniels to deliver the killer blow, slicing him neatly in half with a prop-saw.

Paul Daniels emerges victorious.

Movie Magicians 0  Real Magicians 1

Next: Cocky American Magicians [page-break]

Cocky Americans

David Copperfield

Billion-dollar grossing American illusionist described by Forbes Magazine as the most commercially successful magician in history.

Famous for his mix of storytelling and illusion, Copperfield’s most famous tricks have involved making the Statue of Liberty disappear, and levitating across the Grand Canyon.

What, Like The Book? Factor: 8

Haven't Heard From You Since The Schiffer Thing-ness: 10

Magician Rating: 9


Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) The Prestige (2006)

One time member of a double act with Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), Angiers goes solo after blaming Borden for the death of his wife.

Desperate to beat his now rival magician, he goes to great lengths to become the more successful magician, including murder.

Yeah, I Worked Out Factor: 10

Hey! Is That David Bowie?-ness: 10

Magician Rating: 8

Let Battle Commence!

Copperfield starts levitating, delivering a swift kick to his opponent’s chops.

He begins a very theatrical stage laugh, and winks at Angier, but Angier is not playing around.

The Movie Magician takes Coppefield by the ankle and slams him to the floor, before tossing him effortlessly into a large water-tank.

Copperfield smiles, and winking again to no-one in particular, walks through the glass wall of the tank, emerging bone dry.

Raising his hand high in the air, and drawing it back down in a slow and deliberate fashion, a giant circular saw blade appears, falling toward Angiers – who barely has time to roll out of the way.

Hopping into his Tesla-built transporter, the Movie Magician duplicates himself and the two Angiers stand either side of Copperfield.

“Let’s make it a draw,” whispers Copperfield, “Think of the profits we could get from a rematch!”

The two Angiers snarl at this before each producing a pair of retractable metal claws, they procede to maul Copperfield, shredding the illusionist to pieces in seconds.

The real Angier then murders his clone. Angier wins.

Movie Magicians 1 Real Magicians 1

Next: Tag Team Magicians [page-break]

Tag Team Magicians

Siegfried and Roy

German-born Las Vegas entertainers Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn are as synonymous with Vegas as gambling, strippers and marrying hookers.

Famed for their use of white-tigers, a 2003 incident where Roy was attacked by 8 year-old tiger Montecore left the entertainer severely injured, forcing the pair into retirement.

So, Who's Who? Oh, That's The Tiger-ness: 9

What Do You Mean You're All Tigers? Please Don't Growl At Us Like That Factor: 10

Magician Rating: 9


Karl & Harry (Mitchell & Webb) Magicians (2007)

Mitchell and Webb of "Peep Show" and "That Mitchell And Webb Look" fame, starred in this ill-received film about rival magicians in 2007.

Magicians is a send-up of The Prestige , among other films, and sees the pair battling each other to win the Magic Shield competition held in Jersey.

Better Than Lesbian Vampire Killers, If That's A Compliment-ness: 10

Still, Not Quite Peep Show Standard, Is It? Factor: 10

Magician Rating: 7

Let Battle Commence!

Mitchell and Webb try to catch the Germans off-guard with a few humourous social observations, which Siegfred and Roy, being German, don’t understand.

“Are you trying to be funny” shouts Siegfried, “Because ve vill have ze last laugh!” at which point Roy turns on a powerful spotlight, pointing it a himself and his partner.

The reflection of light from the pair’s oily-tanned skin and bright white teeth dazzles Mitchell and Webb, who can only cower in reply.

Sensing victory, Roy unlatches the tiger cage. “Attack, Montecore!” he orders as the giant white beast roars from its cell, and attack he does – Siegfried and Roy.

The entertainer’s scream and yelp and Montecore chews them up, while Mitchell and Webb look on making subtle and witty sarcastic remarks about the irony of the situation.

Mitchell & Web are victorious.

Movie Magicians 2  Real Magicians 1

Next: Old School vs. New School [page-break]

Old School vs. New School

Valentino (Masked Magician)

Rising to international fame thanks to his series of specials during the 90s, Valentino starred as The Masked Magician, who revealed the secrets behind classic illusions - causing an uproar in the magic community.

Magicians feared audiences would no longer be interested, but Valentino countered these claims, stating it would help motivate magicians to come up with new illusions, and ignite a new interest in magic.

Oh, So That's What The Masked Magician Looks Like Factor: 8

Quick, Put It Back On!-ness: 10

Magician Rating: 8


Merlin (Nicol Williamson) Excalibur (1981)

Merlin is known around the world for his sorcery and magic, synonymous with the tale of King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table.

In this incarnation, from John Boorman’s Excalibur , Merlin wears a bad-ass metal skullcap and is far from the frail old-man of many depictions.

Where Did You Get That Awesome Skullcap? Factor: 10

We Really Liked You In Exorcist III-ness: 9

Magician Rating: 10

Let Battle Commence!

Merlin conjures the Charm of Making spell, which disguises him a Lancelot, the greatest of King Arthur’s Knights.

Valentino, donning the mask of the Masked Magician, starts explaining to everyone at home exactly how Merlin accomplished this trick.

Merlin, pissed off and surly at the Masked Magician, returns to his regular form and head-butts Valentino, breaking his nose.

Valentino, cracks his nose back into place, and explains to the audience exactly how Merlin managed to break it.

At this point Merlin is quite bored, and summons the sword Excalibur from the Lady in the Lake, and wielding it, decapitates Valentino.

His head lying on the floor quite separate from his body, Valentino starts explaining exactly how Merlin was able to chop off his head.

Merlin can only growl with frustration.

Merlin still wins.

Movie Magicians 3  Real Magicians 1

Next: Freestyle Round [page-break]

Freestyle Round

David Blaine

Made famous by his particular brand of street magic, which involves him biting coins in half, transmuting playing cards through glass windows and levitating, Blaine has spawned a succession of imitators.

Spending the last decade focusing less on magic and more on stunts, such as living in a suspended box, being encased in ice, standing on a pole, living underwater – he is wearing thin public opinion.

When You Talk We Feel Sleepy-ness: 10

What's So Bloody Magical About That? We Could Totally Do That Factor: 10

Magician Rating: 8


Willow (Warwick Davis) Willow (1988)

Pint sized sorcerer on a quest to protect a special new-born baby from the evil Queen Bavmorda.

A bit shit at the whole sorcery game, Willow bumbles his way through the film turning things into things they aren’t supposed to be, but it all works out in the end.

Hey, It's The Guy From Leprechaun ! Factor: 8

This Film Scared Us As Children-ness: 10

Magician Rating: 7

Let Battle Commence!

Blaine stars off defensively, jumping into a plexiglass box.

“How do you like them apples?” He sneers at Willow, who waves his wand in the direction of the illusionist, uttering some garbled magic spell.

Blaine is transformed into a Chimera, a fire-breathing mythical beast. “Bugger” exclaims Willow, as the Blaine-Chimera melts through the plexiglass and takes to the skies.

Running around trying to dodge the flames, Willow again raises his wand and pointing at Blaine, mumbles incoherently.

Blaine is instantly transformed into John Candy, and falls to his demise, crushing the hapless sorcerer as he hit the deck.

Both magicians are killed – the round is a tie.

Movie Magicians 4  Real Magicians 2

Next: 19th Century Magicians [page-break]

19th Century Magicians

Eisenheim (Edward Norton) The Illusionist (2007)

The other magic movie of 2006, this film follows Edward Norton’s Eisenheim as he tries to win the hand of his first love, Sophie (Jessica Biel).

Through a series of complex illusions, Eisenheim manages to better his love rival, the nasty Duke Leopold (Rufus Sewell), and gets the girl in a final act which keeps everyone guessing, unlike that other 2006 magic film.

So Ed, What's That Accent About? Factor: 10

Best Magic Film Of 2006?-ness: 9

Magician Rating: 9


Harry Houdini

Perhaps the most famous escape-artist of all time, Houdini is easily the most recognizable name in magic, even though he died 70 years ago.

He captivated the public with death-defying acts such as escaping from locked water chambers, and being buried alive. He was eventually killed after receiving a punch to the stomach in a demonstration gone awry.

Houdini Isn't Dead, He Works In The Local Chip Shop With Elvis And John Lennon-ness: 9

Being Punched In The Stomach Is Not Cool: 10

Magician Rating: 10

Let Battle Commence!

Houdini asks Norton to punch him, in a repeat of the famous demonstration of his stomach muscles that led to his death.

On this occasion however, Houdini is ready, and Norton, hardly in the physical shape of his American History X performance, can only manage a modest blow.

“Your punch is no match for my immense abdominal strength” shrugs Houdini, “But I liked The Illusionist much better than The Prestige”

Then Houdini punches Norton in the stomach, winding him. “Your punch was excellent, much stronger than mine” coughs Norton, “But I know something you don’t; I’m not left-handed."

Houdini grimaces as Norton winds up another blow to his abdomen, this time knocking the great escape artist to his knees.

“Much better” remarks Houdini, coughing up blood. “But I also know something you don’t know. I’m not left-handed either”

Norton’s jaw drops at the revelation and he readies himself for the next hit.

Houdini powers forward with a blow so hard he punches straight through The Illusionist ’s chest, before ripping out his still beating heart.

Norton looks in awe at Houdini. “Bravo” he exclaims, before slumping to the floor and dying.

Houdini, takes a bite out of the organ, covering his chin and mouth in blood. “Mmm, tastes like heart”.

Houdini wins.

Movie Magicians 4  Real Magicians 3

Next: British Magicians, Round II [page-break]

British Magicians, Round II

Tommy Cooper

Beloved British magician and prop comedian recognisable for his quirky features and a fetching red fez he wore during performances.

Though he was an accomplished magician, Cooper made a career out of failing to perform magic tricks, gathering roars of laughter and enthusiastic applause from these intentional mistakes. A sadly missed legend.

Do You Think We Can Pull Off A Fez? Factor: 8

We Could Totally Pull Of A Fez-ness: 7

Magician Rating: 9


Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

Born of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, Gandalf is otherwise thoroughly British. He is a sage and friendly wizard, concerned with the well-being of all life, and willing to fight for his beliefs.

Ages old, there are few as powerful, and his leadership and inspiration in the quest to destroy the one ring proves pivotal to the survival of Middle-Earth.

Ooh Goodie, Ian McKellen Is Going To Play Gandalf In The Hobbit Factor: 10

What's In The Pipe?-ness: 8

Magician Rating: 10

Let Battle Commence!

Cooper pulls a bath tap out of his pocket, attached to some string. He bounces it up and down for a second, then looks at Gandalf, “Tap dance,” and chuckles loudly.

Gandalf can’t help but laugh, and Cooper continues, adorning his ‘Magic Cloak', he begins to pull objects out from between his legs.

First, a bucket, followed by a very long scaffoling pole, a mannequin’s leg and a large bread basket.

At this point Gandalf is laughing so hard that when Cooper starts to produce a ten-foot step ladder, he loses it and starts to fall to his knees.

As he does so, he slams his staff down on the ground in order to steady himself, but this sends out a powerful shockwave, which vapourises Cooper, leaving just his Fez rattling on the ground.

Gandalf begins to openly weep.

Gandalf wins.

Movie Magicians 5  Real Magicians 3

Next: Vegas Magicians [page-break]

Vegas Magicians

Criss Angel

Vegas showman performing in a mega-budget magic show at The Luxor resort, Angel is well known worldwide for his tv show, Criss Angel: Mindfreak, in which he performs various stunts, escapes and illusions.

Though his TV show is a huge success, his Vegas show, a collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil, has been marred by negative reviews and negative publicity by Angel’s own actions, including openly insulting the audience.

Okay, That Picture Is Starting To Freak Us Out-ness: 9

Seriously, Could You Please Stop Staring Like That! Factor: 10

Magician Rating: 8


Cris Johnson (Nic Cage) Next (2007)

Cheesy showman who has the ability to see two-minutes into the future, which he uses to live a successful life, though he is haunted by the vision of a woman from much further into the future than he can normally see.

Finally meeting the woman, Liz (Jessica Biel), Johnson must go on the run as he has become a target of the Department of Homeland Security, who want to use his gift to prevent terrorism.

That's A Dandy Haircut Nic, You're The Man Factor: 10

Of All The Unbelievable Things, He Ends Up With Jessica Biel-ness: 10

Magician Rating: 8

Let Battle Commence!

Criss Angel, knowing that Cris Johnson can see two minutes into the future, waits for Johnson to make the first move.

Johnson, knowing that Criss Angel has a fiery temper, is unwilling to engage him in battle, even though he can use his gift, he doesn’t want to injure his face.

“Nice haircut” shouts Angel.

“Yeah, your barber recommended it” replies Johnson.

The battle descends into a heated slanging match of “yo momma” and “oh, no you didn’t”.

This goes on for some time.

Angel eventually makes a move, revealing he has strapped himself with C4, he runs toward Johnson, exploding and killing them both.

This is then revealed, in a major ‘up yours’ to the audience, to be Johnson using his gift to see what will happen.

Now he knows how it will end, he pulls a gun and shoots Angel, impossibly igniting the C4 at the same time, expoloding his rival in a highly unnecessary fashion.

Johnson walks away, probably to find a better barber.

Cris Johnson wins.

Final Result

Movie Magicians 6  Real Magicians 3

There you have it folks, Movie Magicians are better than Real Magicians. Sometimes. Thoughts? Comment away.

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