By Darlene Donloe
The 2013 film, Now You See Me, was a brilliant, fun, flirty, innovative romp that made magic sexy again.
Fast forward and 2016’s Now You See Me 2, opening tonight, continues the magic, but doesn’t quite have the spark of its predecessor. It’s intriguing and even pulls off an mind-blowing ending, but throughout it lacks the punch of the first. But, don’t be disillusioned. The out of this world magicians still have a couple of tricks up their sleeves. It’s still loads of fun.
Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco return as the sensational, mesmerizing and all around greatest illusionists known as the Four Horsemen, along with newcomer Lizzy Caplan, who has taken the place of Isla Fisher. Mark Ruffalo returns as an FBI agent. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman come back with revenge on their minds. This time around Daniel Radcliffe joins the fun as Caine’s sadistic son, while Sanaa Lathan joins as the Deputy Director of the FBI. Jay Chou joins the story as the proprietor of a decades-old magic shop in Macau.
Cast of Now You See Me 2
It’s this stellar cast, not the story, that keeps this train on the track. The film is loaded with stars who could each hold a film on their own. If this one were to fail with this much star power behind it, the new drawing board would be eminent.
Ok, so the story goes something like this. The Horsemen, minus their female partner, are still flying under the radar after pulling off their last magic trick, which just happened to be a HUGE swindle that left Michael Caine’s character minus millions upon millions of dollars.
Apparently they are all waiting instructions from the illusive The Eye. The Horsemen come out of hiding in order to expose the dastardly deeds of some popular tech person’s smartphone. However, something goes awry. FBI agent Rhodes throws a wrench in the plans, which leaves The Horsemen scrambling to get away. Not so fast!
Arthur Tressler, Michael Caine’s character wants revenge and his money back, so he enlists the help of The Horsemen. Or rather, he gives them an offer they can’t refuse. They must recover “the stick,” which allows someone to de-encrypt every computer in the world.
Their adventure sends them to Macau, where things quickly get ugly and dicey. They run into Chase McKinney, who is Merritt McKinney’s (Woody Harrelson) evil twin brother. One thing leads to another and yada, yada, yada, chaos ensues.
The most fun in the movie, other than the ending, is a sequence that has The Horsemen smuggling a mini-circuit board out of a high security area by hiding it on the back of a playing card. It’s hilarious and implausible, but it’s big fun. They thrown the card, hide the card in their hands, up their sleeves and everywhere else. It’s a great scene!!!
Now You See Me 2, a Jon M. Chu film, stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
Rated PG-13: for violence and some language; Running time: 129 minutes
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), Now You See Me 2 gets an OK.