Both immensely silly and likeable.
Magicians have the ability to make you feel amazed, bewildered, and shocked. Seeing something right in front of you but not being able to comprehend it may be frustrating, but it will stick with you for a long time. Magicians create memories, and for a long time I’ve admired their work. Now You See Me was an excellent film focusing on the craft, managing to be visually incredible whilst showing how the tricks were done. It was also a perfectly casted, twisty thriller. The second instalment has been long time coming, but is it worth watching?
The film is set a year after the events of the first film. Doing my best to avoid spoilers for the first film, it sees the horseman returning for a new heist. However, as expected with the group of magicians, all is not what it seems.
NYSM2 sees the return of major cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco. No Isla fisher though due to her pregnancy. Her absence isn’t painfully felt though due to the addition of Lizzy Caplan. All four of the horsemen are just as superb as they were previously. Engaging and funny, plus a strong chemistry make watching them a tireless experience.
Other cast members also make a return, including Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley and Mark Ruffalo as FBI agent Dylan Rhodes. As expected, nothing to criticise with these guys. Villain Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t have enough impact however, immediately coming off as a spoiled brat and not improving upon it.
As enjoyable as the first film was, there were problems with it – mainly a silly, muddled plot. The sequel, if anything, is on steroids compared to the first. It is intensely stupid, constantly drowning in the force of the ‘eye’ mythos. I felt like the film was mugging me off frequently, as if I was in amaze at how ‘clever’ it was – when in fact, it is not. Like me trying to juggle, the various plot lines cannot be handled in synchrony due to both a poorly written script and Jon M. Chu’s direction.
Despite this, I came out the cinema with a gigantic, guilt-free smile on my face. The tricks have been amped to 100, as well as the CGI. One particular sequence with a playing card will stay with you for a long time.
To sum it up…
Now You See Me 2 has it’s problems, but ultimately I’m choosing to ignore them in light of how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it’s silly, but it’s also immensely likeable. Stylistically magical and majorly twisty – a little too twisty – you’ll have a fun time. Just don’t take it too seriously. In this case, the closer you look, the less you’ll enjoy.
Check out the trailer below, and if you haven’t, go watch the first film!
What do you think? Did you enjoy Now You See Me 2? Let me know in the comments, or tweet @film_swot.
Author: Cameron Frew