Personally, I felt the first Now You See Me was a breath of fresh air, being released in the summer season, but focusing on real life magicians rather than anything more fantastical than that. Of course the film went a little bit beyond what was believable, using a bit of movie magic near the end, but nevertheless it was a fun adventure film with a few twists and turns. One thing I did feel when this film was over was that it could definitely use a sequel, as I liked the characters, and the story was certainly nowhere near over. Three years later, and with a few nice additions to the cast, Now You See Me 2 is set to be more of the same, and hopefully it’ll be just as much fun.
It’s been one year since The Four Horsemen were inducted into the eye, and they’re once again ready to hit the stage, this time to expose a tech billionaire trying to take advantage of the public. During their comeback performance, they’re interrupted by a mysterious third party, who seems to want to do to them what they’ve been trying to do to others – expose them for who they really are.
This film is exactly what I wanted it to be, which is a lot of fun. The chemistry between the characters is great, especially the unlikely pairing of Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco, who’s difference in character is exactly what makes the duo work. Lizzie Caplan also fits in nicely as a replacement for Isla Fisher, and even has a more rounded and funny character, and Jesse Eisenberg plays about as much against type as he’s capable of. The real standout is of course Mark Ruffalo, but that’s not a surprise, as he also stole the show in the first installment.
Daniel Radcliffe plays a surprisingly good antagonist, who’s able to blend his likable charm with despicable deeds to create a character with complex but believable motivations, and even Morgan Freeman gives a better performance than he has in recent years. All of this is partly down to Jon M. Chu, who took over directing duties for this film, and even though he has a patchy track record, he knows how to keep things consistently fun from start to finish.
It wouldn’t feel right to do a review of this film and not mention the stand out scene. At one point the Horsemen are involved in a heist, and the item they’re stealing is the size, shape and weight of a playing card. This might be slightly contrived, but the end result is a fantastically tense and visually brilliant sequence that is a perfect mixture of comedy and suspense.
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