Hollywood just made two hours of my life disappear.
If you don’t want SPOILERS to appear, look away.
BQB here with a review of Now You See Me 2.
Some critics made fun of it but I actually liked the first Now You See Me.
Sure, the plot, the “magic” and everything that happened in the movie was highly unlikely…but in a time of rebooted reboots of sequels to reboots, IT WAS *GASP* AN ORIGINAL IDEA!
If you missed the first one, check it out. Basically, a group of magicians (the Vegas performer kind of magicians, not to be confused with pointy hat wearing wizards) called “the Four Horsemen” use their magic skills in Robin Hood style, robbing from a corrupt/rich insurance company tycoon played by Michael Caine and giving to the poor.
So I was up for a second one and…meh.
Yeah. I’m sorry but “meh.”
Razzle dazzle was the original’s hook. The magic shows/tricks were fun to watch and in your mind you try to figure out how the performers did it. Plus, they convinced me that Michael Caine’s character was douche-tastic enough to deserve to be robbed.
But in the sequel, they kind of just went back to the same well. Michael Caine is still the villain, but this time his son, played by Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, does most of his dirty work.
I don’t want to be part of the “let’s all typecast Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter so he never gets another acting job again” movement. I realize he’s been in other movies since Harry Potter.
This is the only one I have seen and in my opinion, he did well in the role. Of course, the role was of a British nerd, so yeah, Daniel did just fine.
That’s not a dig on British nerds. We love you, nerds across the pond.
I have a complaint about an issue that I wish I knew more about.
Isla Fisher played the female horseman or “horse woman” in the original and she didn’t return for the sequel.
I don’t know why and wasn’t able to find any info on it. I don’t know if it was a case where she didn’t want to return, the studio decided to not have her return or what have you.
Lizzy Caplan joins the group as the new female horsewoman.
She’s very funny and in many ways, the star of the show, but it does send a message that females are interchangeable in movies.
It happens a lot in big ensemble movies like this one. All the dudes return but for whatever reason, they just swap out one hot chick for another hot chick.
The movie suffers from crammage – too much going on packed in to two hours and not enough time to address it all.
Mark Ruffalo returns as an FBI agent/magician (which continues to be an unlikely pairing of abilities). Magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) continues to be a pebble in the Horsemen’s shoe (magic debunker continues to be a unlikely career occupation, IMO).
Really. Who wants to be a magic debunker? Talk about pooping in the punch bowl.
Still, there are some great scenes. In particular, there’s a card throwing scene in which…well, I’ll just let you watch it. I enjoyed that part enough to be left with the feeling that the movie wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Maybe just 97% of a waste of my time.
Woody Harrelson was also pretty funny playing his character from the first film as well as that character’s obnoxiously evil twin brother. It’s the first time I have ever seen a movie in which Woody Harrelson made a conscious effort to become someone other than Woody Harrelson.
I also liked the exotic locations. Macau, China (the Vegas of China), London – lots of globe trotting. Made me want to do some traveling myself.
Among my many complaints, the top one has to be that they really should have come up with another villain/plot other than, “Damn it! Michael Caine’s up to no good again!”
If they do go with another sequel to make a trilogy, they have got to come up with another villain.
Do you need to rush out to the theater to see it?
Is it worth a rental?
But if there’s going to be a Now You See Me 3, they really need to up their game.
STATUS: Meh. Not shelf-worthy but not quite toilet worthy.