Now You See Me 2

"Good"

Now You See Me 2 Review


While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly scream out for a follow-up. But here we are, with go-to sequel man Jon M. Chu at the helm (he also directed the second Step Up and G.I. Joe movies). Most of the high-octane cast is back for more trickery, but the plot is even murkier this time.

Since their last whiz-bang stunt, the Four Horsemen have been laying low. Their leader Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) continues to work in the FBI, helping Daniel, Merrit and Jack (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco) plot their next caper, now joined by quirky illusionist Lula (Lizzy Caplan). Their latest project is to expose corruption at a New York conglomerate, but the stunt is ambushed, and the quartet mysteriously finds themselves in Macau, coerced by a tech genius (Daniel Radcliffe) into staging an elaborate heist. Meanwhile, Dylan's cover is blown, so he teams up with veteran Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman) and heads to Macau himself, chased by his FBI boss (Sanaa Latham). And it all goes down in London.

The round-the-world plot gives the movie some very cool locations, and the plot races so quickly that most audiences won't notice that it makes virtually no logical sense at all. There are flashy distractions at every turn, from sleight of hand to vanishing acts to gross-out gags to enormous double-bluffs, and all of this is thoroughly entertaining even if the script itself feels strangely incomplete. Most sequences tend to end before they get to the point, while action scenes are choppy and incoherent. The only set-piece that works is the kinetic central heist, which hinges on a rapidly flung playing card. But even though it's uneven and clunky, the film remains entertaining simply because of the magical shenanigans and snarky dialogue.

The actors bounce off each other with plenty of energy. Refusing to behave like a token female, Caplan is a wonderfully warped addition to the ensemble (Isla Fisher's departure is handled in one throwaway line). Eisenberg and Franco do their best to keep up with her, while Harrelson has help from a second role as Merrit's camp, grinning twin. Radcliffe adds some coiled intensity as the nerdy villain, while Freeman and Michael Caine (returning as a vindictive businessman) add some gravitas. But like the first movie, there's so much digital hocus-pocus that the movie feels like a cheap trick. So as we wait for the plot to twist and twist again, nothing is remotely surprising. Even if it creates the illusion of fun.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Now You See Me 2:



Now You See Me 2

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 129 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th June 2016

Budget: $90M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dylan Rhodes, as Merritt McKinney, as J. Daniel Atlas, as Jack Wilder, as Thaddeus Bradley, as Arthur Tressler, as Lula, as Walter, as Li, as Allen Scott-Frank, as Natalie Austin, as Zoey Taylor, Alexander Cooper as FBI Agent, Alexandra Fraser as Magician Assistant, as Cowan, as Actress, as Owen Case, Amber Elizabeth as Green Umbrella Girl, as 80s Pedestrian, Judit Novotnik as New Year's Eve Reveller

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