Now You See Me 2 – Woefully underwhelming sequel is no Ocean’s 12
Now You See Me (2013) was a guilty pleasure – far from a classic, but a lot of fun and wonderfully inventive as a group of magicians known as ‘The 4 Horsemen’ use their unique talents to commit a series of crimes and become cult figures the world over. It was a poor-man’s Oceans 11.
Now You See Me 2 is, on the other hand, a woefully underwhelming sequel. It’s stupid, and because it’s stupid, it quickly becomes boring. Now You See Me 2 tries to be bigger and better than the first film, but it’s that very attempt that makes it cross from fun and cheesy to just plain silly and frustrating. The magicians tricks cross over from kind of nifty if a little convenient) to just plain outlandish. The more outlandish the antics of out main characters – Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco returning as Atlas, Rhodes, Merritt and Jack and Lizzy Caplan joining them as Lula – the less we really care about what happens. It’s a bit like watching Superman taking down a mugger armed with a baseball bat. There’s just no risk, no drama, no tension. We, the audience, just can’t be convinced they’re ever in any danger as they keep getting out of more and more ridiculous situations.
Oh, and the addition of Lizzy Caplan to replace the original’s Isla Fisher – FAIL! The movie didn’t need a token female. Isla Fisher’s character, Henley Reeves, was a natural fit in the first film. Caplan’s character is a stereotyped, extroverted loud mouth who only manages to alienate the audience in this one.
Morgan Freeman returns, and is joined by Daniel Radcliffe to add some extra star power, but they don’t help, and both characters just wind up being weak and ‘wishy-washy’ once the climax of the film is concluded.
I went to see Now You See Me 2 thinking that even if it wasn’t as good as the first, it would still be fun. I was wrong.