The first Now You See Me film was an unexpected delight, with a great cast, which was a good original thriller, with a lot of escapism and fun on the way, so we finally got round to seeing Now You See Me 2.
The film finds the Horsemen; J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) & Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) in hiding still, after outwitting the FBI in the first film. Henley (A non-returning Isla Fisher) we learn has gone her own separate way, having broken up with Atlas.
They are still awaiting further instructions from ‘The Eye’ but are sent a new mission from their handler, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) to expose a corrupt businessman called Owen Case (Ben Lamb), who has created a software that can steal all the data from the devices it is installed in.
The team, add via an invitation from Lula (Lizzy Caplan) to even up their team following Henley’s departure. They hijack Case’s presentation to reveal the software secrets, only to then find themselves hijacked by a mysterious stranger, who reveals to all the audience that Jack is indeed not dead, as the world had thought, and FBI agent Rhodes, who was supposed to be hunting them, is actually working with them. The Horseman quickly leave the stage and need to go back in hiding.
The Horseman plan their escape via a tube on the roof, however on exiting the tube, they find themselves in Macau, and as prisoners to Chase McKinney (Merritt’s Twin and also played by Harrelson) who takes them to his employer, and the voice of the stranger, Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) who wants the software for himself and promises the horsemen their freedom if they do.
After they get themselves into Case’s launch party, using slight of hand and card tricks, they escape with the intrusive software. Meanwhile, Rhodes, now on the run from the FBI is forced to help his rival, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) escape from prison, to help the Horsemen and stop Mabry.
Eventually, Rhodes intercepts the handover of the software from Atlas to Mabry only to be captured and taken to Mabry’s employer and father, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who Rhodes had employed the Horsemen to expose in the first film.
The Horseman then announce that they will be performing live at midnight from London on New Year’s Eve, in a bid to convince Tressler they have the chip in the film’s big finale.
The sequel is this time directed by Jon M. Chu, and the script is again written by Ed Solomon, yet we did not enjoy this film anywhere near as much as the first.
We are sure the film would be improved if watched back to back with the original, as we did spend a lot of time at the start, trying to recall the events of the first film.
We also felt the Woody Harrelson twin was a bit pointless, and casting another actor may have been better, but that is possibly just us.
Radcliffe, who we have enjoyed in many of his non-Harry Potter roles was not a good villain in this, but Caplan was a good enough substitute for Fisher. The film does move along at a great pace, but the tricks and set pieces didn’t seem as plausible as the original, with people just being able to vanish into thin air etc.
The big London finale is a rousing finish to the film but overall it just wasn’t as magical as the original, yet we may be in the minority who feels like this as a Now You See Me 3 has already been announced.
Watch the trailer at the film website here:
Rent or Buy the film from Amazon here:
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