Title – Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Director – Jon M. Chu (G.I Joe: Retaliation)
Cast – Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Jay Chou
Plot – The Four Horsemen are back, drawn into a potentially deadly game with tech kingpin Walter Mabry (Radcliffe) who wants the magically minded group to pull off what could be their biggest heist yet.
“We are going out with a show people will never forget”
Review by Eddie on 8/02/2017
I really wanted to like 2013’s Now You See Me. I love a good fun movie and I love being bluffed by clever magic, hence why I enjoy The Prestige to this day, but Louis Leterrier’s financially successful and well-liked film was a dumb, daft and overblown experience that was neither as smart, sassy or suave as it thought it was, and I found myself thoroughly disappointed with the box office hit.
Fast forward to 2016 and Australia’s Isla Fisher has jumped the magic ship along with Leterrier, who has passed the directional baton to Jem and the Holograms and Step Up 3D mastermind Jon M. Chu, who has enlisted the comedic workings of Lizzy Caplin to fill in for Fisher and added a double dosing of Woody Harrelson and the world’s most famous wizard Daniel Radcliffe to help enliven proceedings with this unwanted sequel, but while there’s just as many flashing lights, colourful characters and ADHD storytelling as the first film, Now You See Me 2 is not surprisingly an even poorer attempt at movie magic than its throwaway forefather.
To talk much about Now You See Me 2’s plot would be giving too much credit to an event that pays near on zero attention to detail in trying to even make a miniscule attempt at making logical sense, and while it’s fine for a film to look to entertain rather than adhere to logical rules of our existence in this universe, Chu’s film doesn’t even entertain throughout its overdrawn runtime.
From incredible feats of card manoeuvring, manipulation of the weather or conference interrupting shenanigans, Now You See Me 2 certainly tries to be cool and its able cast that all look incredibly bored with their lot in sequellife (#showmethemoney) are pretty “hip”, this experience feels tired and devoid of life, not something you want when what you’ve signed up for is supposedly a magical joy ride that will shock us with its reveals and make us gasp at its twists.
The addition of Radcliffe adds a sprinkling of life to this rather dead-on-arrival and much too self-confident follow up, but this series that started out sounding promising, only to deliver a forgettable first entry and now this even more lacklustre sequel, is a one that needs to be laid to rest in the magicians coffin quickly, which sadly will be put on hold as the unappealing third entry to the franchise is brought to life over the coming years.
1 ½ bouncing playing cards out of 5