Big spoilers up ahead. You have been warned.

Early on in the movie, Dylan Rhodes was given the task to track down and arrest the Four Horsemen, a task he begrudgingly accepts. However, at the end of the movie, it was revealed that he himself is the mastermind of the entire scheme. His role in the scheme is to serve as the FBI agent, presumably to reduce the unpredictable variables and to observe the magicians firsthand. My question is, how had he guaranteed that he would be chosen for this assignment? What if he had not been picked? Was he purely relying on sheer luck that when the time comes, he would be the person chosen for the job?

EDIT: Apparently, it is possible to "influence" people's thoughts, but it doesn't explain everything.

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    I assumed Rhodes planned all of this in advance by putting himself in the right place to make this happen. A lot of things had to come together to make this happen, but figure everything else he (supposedly) did, and this makes sense to me. Obviously he is a master magician himself, he could make a lot of things happen which others would not realize he doing. He had an agenda ... not really an answer because it is my opinion, but worth a comment at the least. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:18
  • ^I get that he planned it far in advance, but can you control whether certain agents would be available? Can you control your boss' decision as to who to choose for a job?
    – Fikko3107
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:23
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    If it was your sole passion in your life to do it, and spent years working on it, yes, I imagine you could set yourself to be chosen by showing an aptitude for certain cases and planting hints or suggestions. No more unbelievable than the rest of the movie which doesn't really explain some of the more grand illusions. The CGI curtain effect before the "teleportation"? Them jumping off the roof and turning into money? Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


It is simply a plot contrivance used by the writers to make the film's narrative, viable.

There is no way that he could have been expected to be the agent put on the case and the film offers the audience nothing that would explain why it happened. You, the viewer, are simply supposed to "go with" the fact that an agency with over 14k worth of personnel would place that particular person in that that particular case.

Since film would not have "worked" had this not occurred, it appears that this is simply a narrative device to make the remainder of the film possible.

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    While this works in the world of "it's in the script" ... a more pertinent answer of how it could actually happen would be more respected here. Considering the comment I posted above, I also disagree with you. It is plausible he could arrange it to happen through the system. When all parts of his plan are in place, he puts everything in motion, such as contacting the 4-Horseman. Alma Dray was the wildcard in his plan. She is the only thing which he did not accounted for. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:37
  • Unfortunately, this is a film. That means it's an artificial creation where the "rules" of normal life do not apply. To attempt to graft those rules onto a fictional narrative would simply slow the narrative or make its artificiality more transparent to the viewer. In the "real world" agents are assigned to cases by priority, by need, by the whims of their superiors or a whole host of other reasons. That this particular agent would have been assigned to this particular case is a conceit of the narrative and not something which could be planned for" by a opportunist.
    – Mistah Mix
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 3:14
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    Think what you like, but I work for the US Government. What was done to get the case would not be impossible by any stretch of the imagination. And I never said Rhodes was an opportunist. He never leaves anything up to chance. He is "the smartest guy in the room" as Atlas finds out. Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 12:07

Nothing is said about other Officers maybe he planned the timing so that the entire branch of officers had some case and only he was without one, this way when the case came up, he was the only one that could have taken it as he had already planned.


It's quite simple...since he is very meticulous he made sure he solved all the cases to rise to become a good agent....maybe he solved others cases before and made sure all the agents of his office under the jurisdiction of the crime is busy which will lead him to be the one assigned to the case..... Plus he tells his boss he is just a month away from arresting a mobster...so he is really very cunning.

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