Look I loved the first Now You See Me.
Caper-like hijinks based around magicians with the personality and whiz of ‘Street Magician’ David Blaine just sounds like a fun idea to me, so I was on-board for it.
With a tale that closed with a cracker ending that easily set up a series of films, it’s no wonder we see its sequel Now You See Me 2 back in cinemas so soon.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and new Horseman Lizzy Caplan) return one year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles. Resurfacing for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate, they find themselves whisked away by Walter Marby (Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe), who threatens the Horseman into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
Picking up off the end of the previous film, with certain revelations now come to light, the Horsemen begin their ascent back into the limelight after laying low for a year.
With Isla Fisher unable to return to her role as Henley from the first film, she is replaced by Caplan who brings a new spirit to the group that improves their dynamic and makes them feel more “fun” overall.
The rest of the cast go through their paces, the collective back-catalog of work represented on-screen with the ease of which they slip back into place.
New Director Jon M. Chu (Step Up franchise / G.I Joe Retaliation) takes the reins from Louis Leterrier well, but it feels as though the movie retreads a lot of the formula put in to place by the first film, though this may be more due to the Producers and Screenplay Writers who return.
The action is incomparable, with it’s mash-up of ‘Heist Meets Houdini’, but acts suffer because of this; The pacing of action never being matched by the tedium of scenes without.
Retaining the merits of the original, its fault is that it doesn’t perform a trick bigger than the first, which means the next film will have to truly produce something magical.
A retread of the original but with some different parts, Now You See Me 2 does enough to secure a sequel, but not enough to blind the audience to its smoke and mirrors.