Now You See Me 2 (2016)

4:42 AM

You Haven't Seen Anything Yet
 Now You See Me 2 is directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Jem and the Holograms) and stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers, Shutter Island), Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games, Zombieland), Dave Franco (Bad Neighbours, 21 Jump Street), Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield, The Interview) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black). "The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet". The first Now You See Me was a hidden gem that was a solid hit in 2013 - can the second be the same or better?

I recently watched the first Now You See Me due to this second instalment being released. I was pleasantly surprised by the first flick even though it was very unbelievable but it did have some clever moments and was a solid film. However, I think what helped to make it easier to forgive all of the first films flaws was that it was pretty short and sweet and is a film that doesn't really need to be explored again. Now You See Me 2 on the other hand is over 2 hours long and is very slow in pace so those flaws are very hard to forgive. If the pacing was as sharp as the tricks, Now You See Me 2 would be a much better film.

One thing Now You See Me 2 doesn't get wrong is its cast - the cast is fantastic and very strong. However, does the film use them to their full potential? I think Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson , Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan are well used and do solid jobs. However, I think Mark Ruffalo isn't well utilised in this film - even though his character does take some interesting twists and turns, his performance could have been much more powerful and interesting after the big reveal in the last film. Ruffalo is almost sidelined even though the twist to do with his character in the last film was what made us all excited for the sequel. Harrelson is good in his role but I did not like the addition of his twin brother who was very annoying and extremely below the belt for this kind of flick. I also couldn't really believe Daniel Radcliffe as a villain - he just came across too nice. I don't know whether that is down to his diversity as an actor, his acting ability or just how his character was written but Radcliffe did feel a little miscast - even though it was nice to see Radcliffe play an evil magician after his Harry Potter days.

Now You See Me 2 starts off pretty strong as the plot seems to ring similar bells to the first film - however, then the film goes a bit too big - they get kidnapped and end up in China - why is it that sequels pretty much always go abroad? What worked about the original was all the shows and cool tricks - the story could have still took place closer to home as the plot doesn't always transfer well to different countries (Now You See Me 2 didn't work the best in China). Even though a lot was going on, the film just felt very slow - it was overlong - it should have been 30 minutes shorter. All of the magic scenes were good but anything in between just felt very slow. Now You See Me 2 loses major points for how long and slow it is.

SPOILERS
So the magic and twists in this film...are they as effective as in the first? They aren't much worse but I thought it was a lot cooler the first time around. Now You See Me 2 makes the classic mistake most magicians do - they impress you with a smaller trick the first time and then go OTT and too unbelievable the second time - the whole thing with robbing the bank in the first flick was obviously unbelievable but the explanation worked. However, in the second, the whole plane thing was just confusing and even though they explained it, I still don't really get it at all. The twists also weren't as effective this time around - the revelation that Michael Caine's character is still in the story and is the father of Radcliffe and that Morgan Freeman's character was partners with Mark Ruffalo's character's dad were nice twists but they weren't as shocking as the first films big twist - however, at least these twists did make sense when you think back. I thought the magic didn't feel as real this time around - the card tricks felt like CGI was used rather than actual practical magic. 

Now You See Me 2 isn't a terrible film, it is just average which is to be expected when the first film was simply just solid and nothing more. Now You See Me 2 takes what worked well in the first film and tries to blow it up on to a much bigger scale but it kind of explodes as the larger scale makes the film even less believable and even more OTT. The performances are good but Ruffalo is underused and Radcliffe is miscast. The film is way too slow and way too long - I wouldn't be fussed about seeing a third instalment. Average. 

2.5 STARS
C

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See You Soon!

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