- Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Although the storytelling isn’t in tune with the stunning effects, the sequel of the top-earning blockbuster of summer 2013 will hypnotise you – if you let it to. Even if the great cast would benefit from some tweaks in the plot that could show their excellence, the newest “magical” flick could be entertaining if you decide to just enjoy the show. Here’s our Now You See Me 2 review!
A year after performing the heist of the century, the Horsemen are back. J Daniel, Meritt and Jack are hiding away: the eyes of FBI haven’t left them since their previous appearance. Trying to uncover some more secrets, they end up being kidnapped. This time, they play on that one issue that freaks everybody out nowadays: privacy. And after ending up in Macau, kidnapped by a guy who hates to be in the spotlight and has a few shady businesses on the side for which he needs the super-charged chip that can decrypt every bit of data on the planet, they need to pull a few tricks to get out of the situation.
You certainly can have nothing on the cast: Jesse Einsenberg and Dave Franco charm with a deck of card and outbursts of banter and crazy remarks. Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo are magically pulled into resolving a story from the past. Woody Harrelson pulls off a double role in a very reliable manner, and Daniel Radcliffe also fits into the role of a freaky villain. The interaction, all the funny bits filled with lively conversation make the film highly likeable; the secrets and competition, although forming an insane sequence and creating a hazy atmosphere, will keep you watching – if you liked the first film, you’re more than likely to be captured by its sequel, too. It is questionable if forcing the love story into the film was necessary – like many other details in the plot, it is left unexplored and unexplained, and it is not clear who it is meant to appeal to. The motives of the characters are also often kept very vague. Showing what their real pursue is would help the film a ton.
You could say the story itself is silly. A chip that controls every computer on the planet, seriously? A magical transfer to Macau, shouldn’t we leave it behind in Hogwarts, where it would probably be explained somehow? *cough cough* However, the lack of a complicated story and the character development kept to constant changes of balance is compensated with surprises. It’s an ongoing show of skilled illusionists, and there’s no human on this planet who doesn’t enjoy a bit of these mind games, anticipation, being led to believe and being fooled. It’s fun, after all.
Visually, it’s undoubtedly set to charm the audience. You’ve got everything you could expect from a blockbuster: mindblowing CGI, picturesque locations, skilfully played stunts. They’re all highly enjoyable to watch, but very often they serve the story just halfway, sometimes staying on the level of aesthetic add-ons to the entire film.
It’s not the state-of-the-art film, with huge chunks of the story being given up in favour of a show of four illusionists. But if you switch off your sense of questioning and simply enjoy the atmosphere it creates, and perhaps look at it the way you would look at the show of a famous magician, it ends up being a charming two-hour show – or maybe I was hypnotised, too.
Now You See Me 2 was released on the 4th of July in the UK.