PG) Now You See Me 2
PG for Violence, Not Recommended for Young Children
Running Time: 130 Minutes.
1 and a half stars out of 4.
2013's "Now You See Me," was a surprise box office hit upon its release in June of 2013. The action/heist film that took viewers inside the world of magic was truly a crowdpleaser and was a smash hit grossing over $350 million at the worldwide box office, against a production budget of $75 million. Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Jesse Eisenberg elevated the original film to make it more than just a standard "B-level" action-mystery film. With "Now You See Me 2," the original cast return and reprise their roles, with the exception of Isla Fisher who is replaced by Lizzy Caplan of "Mean Girls" fame. Jon M.Chu of "Step Up" and "Justin Bieber Concert Movie" fame takes over from Louis Leterrier to direct the film, while Daniel Radcliffe joins the cast as the son of Michael Caine's "Arthur Tressler."
Now You See Me 2 is an absolute disaster. For fans of the original film, this follow-up film will surely be the most disappointing film of the year. The novelty has truly worn off, and the cast do not have the same comrodory as they did in the original. The film inexplicably takes place in Macau, China, which feels like a choice on behalf of the studio to appeal to an international audience. There is no sense of fun in this film. The ensemble cast all phone in middling performances, and their boredom is visible on screen. Lizzy Caplan's performance belongs in a different movie and the energy and humour she brings to the role is present no place else in the film. For a film whose primary appeal to audiences is the fun and interesting of "magic," Now You See Me 2, surprisingly features very little magic and close to no action. If the scenes between the Horsemen were interesting this would make up for the lack of magic, but sadly it does not. What is missing from this film is the energy and excitement that the original had, in the first film, as viewers we cared about the characters, and were enchanted by their use of magic, but in this film, the characters are strangely unlikeable. The actors are not helped by a terrible script with a muddling and confusing plot. Now You See Me 2, does have some redeeming qualities. For instance, there is one sequence in the beginning of the film that involves the Horsemen taking over a product launch, which I found to be very enjoyable and interesting to look at, but that is really all this movie has going for it.
For their next act, I would like the filmmakers to tell a smaller scale story, and make the magic interesting again.