Now You See Me 2 sees the old gang from the excellent first film back together but this time around, instead of having their victims chasing their own tails, the whole gang themselves are forced to figure a way out of traps and snares set for them by old and new enemies. But this time around, the reveal seems to be more upfront while we watch it unravel, as opposed to the last film, when they let is on on the sneak after the fact.
The old cast from the first film reprise their roles from the first film, with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman while adding Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan and a few others.
The first film was a wonderful cat and mouse game between our criminal magicians called The Horsemen and the law.
But unlike the first film, where we are treated to a chase then shown the reveal, this time around we seem to be shown the reveal first then watch the stunt happen or unravel. Depending on the act of the film.
In the first act we watch The Horsemen get kidnapped and forced to commit a high-tech crime. But after they do this crime, they get duped and then look to take their revenge upon their kidnappers.
This time around, Woody Harrelson plays his own annoying twin brother, and Daniel Radcliffe plays a bad guy (to be honest, I did not recognize at first).
But even while they’re showing you the reveal, and you do have to pay attention, you’re always looking for something in the background that might be another or different reveal. It’s a bit distracting but in the third act, you might catch a few of the biggest secret reveals before they actually take place. It’s almost more distracting
The last time around, the film was directed by Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) but this time the trick-action film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Justin Beiber, GI Joe Retaliation, The LXD), who uses his music video expertise to deliver this sequel. And a sequel, it is.
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The first film was fun and captivating but with some of the sheen of the magic roughed up from the first film, the second was not as exhilarating.
Especially when some of the reveals weren’t so hidden as they were before.
But then again, this time around, maybe they wanted some of the reveals to be obvious, because unlike last time, they didn’t show us the tricks to their escapes as their final scenes. There was no “wow” moments from viewing. It was just a film of linear action with The Horsemen coming out on top again, but not because of their own trickery, but someone else’s.
I’m not too upset that I didn’t drop bucks on the film at the movie theaters. I would not have been disappointed, but I’m glad I saved the bucks on this one any way. On IMDb this one has a 6.5 out of 10 score, something you see for films that are decent but not totally phenomenal.
I can’t disagree with that, giving this movie a popcorn 6 score. It was good entertainment but nothing earth-shattering. But then again, was my mind made up because of the first one, under Leterrier’s direction?
But hey, it made enough money at the box office to warrant a third film, again with Chu as director again. Sigh.