Now You See Me 2

Dir: Jon M. Chu, 2016

7/10

NYSM2-Official-Quad

The 2016 sequel to the 2013 lacklustre box office hit, is a gigantic improvement over the original.

Now You See Me failed, primarily, because of the characters. Louis Leterrier directed the characters as unlikeable people who I couldn’t give two shits about.

For this one, new director Chu takes a more human approach and has the characters appear amiable and flawed. This goes so much towards the overall enjoyment of the film.

The Horsemen (minus Isla Fisher, thank god!) are recruited by wealthy Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) to steal a computer chip.

Mabry is the son of Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), the billionaire who sponsored the groups magic shows and who, subsequently, lost a great deal of money after being exposed as corrupt by the magicians.

Instead of Fisher, we now have Lizzy Caplan as Lula May. A new recruit to the team, Caplan is a far, far better actress than the former Home And Away star and Mrs. Sacha Baron Cohen.

A lot easier on the eye, Caplan is beautiful and sexy, with a fun and quirky personality. Fisher was just bland and annoying.

Being the sequel, the film has to turn the notches up a few points but, unfortunately, it wanders into ridiculous territory on more than one occasion.

Now You See Me was a tad unbelievable and warranted suspending your disbelief numerous times. This one completely blows it out of the water.

A lot of the tricks look cool but are so ridiculous it takes you out right out of the film.

A fantastical scene with a playing card and a computer chip stuck to the back of it is one such example.

The group are supposed to be magicians, but the illusions they carry out in this, venture more into the group being genuinely magical and not performing tricks.

This aspect is detrimental to the film and seriously needed reigning in.

Attempting to still try and shake off his Harry Potter role, Daniel Radcliffe is here portraying a villain.

The truth is, Radcliffe can’t act. Sporting a beard that looks like it’s been glued on, all you can see is Harry Potter being a bit naughty.

Michael Caine is back, as is Morgan Freeman. Freeman is the best actor out of all of them. To be honest, Freeman is usually the best in every film he’s in.

The magicians in the first film were so obnoxious and cocky that you wanted them to lose. This was a major point in why I really disliked it.

All that cockiness and arrogance is heavily diluted in this and makes for a better viewing experience.

Alas, we still have Jesse Eisenberg as the central role. Eisenberg only seems to be able to play one character. This sort of fast talking, muttering to himself persona that he also used in Batman Vs. Superman.

Woody Harrelson can be a good actor. He can do comedy very well. Starting out in the sitcom Cheers and with an impressive turn in the Farrelly brothers flick Kingpin, he has displayed a special talent.

Even in Natural Born Killers, as the murdering psychopath Mickey Knox, Harrelson played the role with more than a hint of black humour.

For this, the script doesn’t allow any room comedy and Chu doesn’t let him inject much in the way of humour.

Then, of course, you’ve got James Franco’s less irritating and even less pretentious brother, Dave.

Not bad, not great. Just so-so. It starts off good but then descends into farce.

 

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