Now You See Me 2CultureCinemaMovie reviews
Following on from a huge twist ending, Now You See Me 2 had no choice but to go bigger. But bigger for director Jon M Chu has not produced better, with an overdependence on CGI failing to suspend any disbelief, instead he has created fight scenes that might just induce motion sickness and preposterous sequences of ninja-like magic.
In this sequel, the drama returns to the world famous magicians-turned-fugitives, The Four Horsemen, 18 months on from the big reveal that gloomy FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is the group’s leader. Only three of the original Horsemen remain: surly J Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), hypnotist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and pick-pocket Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), after their only female member (Isla Fisher) left. In her place steps Lula (Lizzy Kaplan), a bubbly fast-talker, who is quick to show off her impressive magical abilities, proving herself a worthy member of the magical elite.
From the off, there’s a build-up of excitement as The Four Horsemen prepare to finally go back into the public eye, intent on uncovering international corruption in a Robin Hood style. Their first target is hijacking the launch of Octa, an evil Apple-like corporation, but the real action begins when their plan goes horribly wrong and they find themselves whisked off to Macau and forced into a microchip heist.
At times, the film feels a lot like Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s series, with sequences of hypnosis, card-throwing and illusion shot with glittery precision, brilliantly misdirecting the audience’s eye. But these moments are all too fleeting, with scenes of extravagant magic shot to exhaustion, leaving audience’s overindulged in the spectacle: there is little room for the imagination and a refusal to explain much of the on-screen magic.
While Lizzy Kaplan and Daniel Radcliffe – who plays Walter Mabry, a legally dead tech billionaire and the villainous orchestrator – shine most strongly through the all-star cast with their occasional much-needed comedic lines, Now You See Me 2 will leave many magic fans disappointed.
Now You See Me 2 is released nationwide on 4th July 2016.
Watch the trailer for Now You See Me 2 here: