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[Review] – ‘Now You See Me 2’

 
 
Overview
 

Release Date: 10 June 2016 [USA]
 
Director: Jon M. Chu
 
Writer: Ed Solomon [Screenplay] - Ed Solomon - Peter Chiarelli [Story] - Boaz Yakin - Edward Ricourt [Characters]
 
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg - Mark Ruffalo - Woody Harrelson - Dave Franco - Daniel Radcliffe - Lizzy Caplan - Morgan Freeman - Michael Caine
 


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Posted June 23, 2016 by

 
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Review:

I must admit, I was quite surprised it was that time of the year when I had to witness yet another magic show from The Four Horsemen. So after having my cup half empty with the first movie along with the trailers of this one which seemed oddly colorful, I lowered my expectations. Surprisingly, I was left with an averagely satisfied viewing.

The ‘four-io’ are back in this magical heist of a sequel taking center stage yet again, although interrupted this time around. They find themselves on more than just their shows, but as assistants to someone else’s illusion game, which appears to be far more superior. This leads them on the other side of the globe and into the pockets of Shanghai, with them playing their opponent’s games.

First things first, I adore enthralling movies with abracadabra moments as such. The Illusionist, The Prestige, and the Harry Potter franchise, all of which have proved that the genre can get much better in the years to come. Although with a disappointing entrance of this sequel’s prequel, which admittedly, had its varied and satisfying surprises, was not enough for me to widen my eyes for this one. Like every sequel (Dawn of Justice), it tries to outdo its predecessor whilst righting its wrongs.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do with your hands not tied to a second film, as you create more problems while trying not to, some of which were foreseeable.

Getting to probably the “white magic” side of things, a tiny round of applause is in order. While some may disagree or would arrive at the conclusion to be in two minds about the following subjective verdict, the story shone through the debacle mess. Take a second to visualize this, when putting it in such a way, sequels flip their script books on a literal level and allow their characters to dangle from the edges to get back into their allocated written slots. Flipping the script on their characters and giving them a rockier path is what NYSM2 does, who have its chips all in with a full house, although sadly not their card tricks.

Yes, that swiveling card stunt between the horsemen is one you would have probably caught from the trailers. While it might have been the highlight of the film, that’s saying very little. You have seen it all: guessing numbers right, disappearing vaults and fellow comrades coming back to life, all of which have had wonderfully crafted explanations. What Chu fails to understand when taking the reigns is that there is a fine line between CGI and engaging trickery. More often that you would expect, audiences all over will be bedazzled by the effects of what the horsemen have to offer with very little backed up explanations to what they just did, almost as if God had a hand in their illusions. Apparently they were not worth explaining, so don’t worry if you find yourself staring at the screen, blanking out for a few seconds.

With a glowing need to not only grow its untimely and nonsensical trickery to the eye, it sneaks in well-timed action segments that were not only delightfully fun but hilariously ridiculous. Speaking of hilariousness, a nod at the movie’s attempts at being funny is due, all of which were almost annoyingly frustrating to witness.

The studio house Summit Entertainment did get another thing right: rather than recasting Isla Fisher’s character from the first film, they made a new addition to its prized Robin Hoods, that being Lizzy Caplan’s Lula. While they may have gone about it the right way, they chose poorly. Again, with an untimely placement of an explanation as to why she quit amidst a magic trick underway, you will probably find yourself looking at the person beside you for a positive nod as to what just happened. Alas, the movie tries to be overly smart with its mysterious plot twists that just might not be able to collect your care in the world for the characters after a horrible end to their final act.

Bringing more stars than freshness to its overall act tells you one thing: they are trying to save its drowning ship. The filmmakers are well aware of its potential and decided to bring on board retired wizard Daniel Radcliffe to swish and flick his wand for this abysmal magic show. A bold move, as he proves himself along the way, leaving room to hope for more great additions to the threequel. Although no, the rest of the cast was not as spellbinding. You have to understand this: with a movie that does not take itself too seriously, it would be quite demanding to give the same treatment to its cast. You are watching this flick in order to be fascinated and enticed with the glamor of great finesse and that’s what you will get from them, nothing more, maybe less.

Now You See Me 2 fails to dazzle but compensates with a fun roller coaster of events that consistently spiral over and over for the good of the film. Its acts are more often than not, left halfway through with their audiences and us more confused than the showstoppers themselves.

With Jon M. Chu being a master of deception rather than of enchantment, he proves yet again he can’t bring about heart to his movies. Harsh as it may sound, the movies brought to you by Jonny boy himself ranging from Step Up 2 & 3 to diving into a war with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and now blowing things up with a wand that does not fit his hand with this one, there’s only so much you can expect from him. Although usually when a director steps out of his experimental boundaries, they approach things differently the third time. So here’s to hoping for more for the third installment. While it may not sound too appealing to you folks reading out there, it is a fun-for-kicks film, with flashier elements, making the movie pop louder than you could’ve ever expected. “If you think you’ve seen it all, take another look” is what Morgan Freeman said. Please don’t take his word for it. Unless you’re a fan?

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