Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Now You See Me 2: Film Review

Now You See Me 2: Film Review


Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Lizzie Kaplan, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine
Director: Jon M Chu

It’s all about sleight of hand in the sequel to 2013’s NowYou See Me.

And much like the central illusionists themselves, behind the smoke and mirrors, there’s not as much going on as perhaps you may imagine in this slickly distracting film.

In Now You See Me 2, the band of magicians, the Four Horsemen have been forced undercover after their last heist.  With Isla Fisher’s Henley taking flight from them, the trio of Daniel Atlas, the presumed dead Jack Wilder and Merrit McKinney (Eisenberg, Franco and Harrelson respectively) find their group hit up by Lizzie Caplan’s Lula, who’s desperate to join their number. 

With their ringleader, the FBI mole Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they plan to spring back to the public attention by exposing a tech boss who’s about to launch a new product and who’s been misusing private details.

But the tables are turned on the gang, when someone reveals them at the launch, forcing Dylan on the run and sending the remaining Horsemen to Macau and into the domain of Daniel Radcliffe’s Walter. Under pressure to steal a chip that can access any computer in the world (bonjour, MacGuffin), the group’s got to overcome their own fractures to save themselves and the day…

As ever, it's about the misdirection in this slickly executed caper once again, but equally, character takes second fiddle to the set pieces. Once-over-lightly characters again thrive throughout; Eisenberg's Atlas is given an ounce of jealousy, Harrelson's McKinney is saddled with a bouffanted, tanned and toothy twin; and Ruffalo's Rhodes is landed with an emotional arc where he seeks vengeance for his father's death all those years ago.

While Radcliffe really makes little difference to the film as a rather wet behind the ears villain, it's a refreshing Kaplan whose place in the sequel gives it the life and energy that's sorely needed throughout. Perky and enthusiastic, she gives the film the zing that a sequel deserves, where the plot sags and appears tired.

Admittedly, as with the first, much of the film is about the set pieces and Chu delivers a central sequence involving a card and a chip inside a secure institute that whirls past the eyes. Flashy and slick, it's certainly a sign that the prestidigitation of illusionists can keep you entertained; but as ever, it comes down to editing and choreography (it's no surprise David Copperfield is involved behind the scenes).

Slickly entertaining, and more a sequel that doesn't really need to exist, there's no denying that Now You See Me 2 will amuse those looking for popcorn entertainment and who enjoyed the first. Whether the trick is on the audience though is another matter - much like the first, once the razzle dazzle of the illusion is stared at for too long, this watchable heist caper that's essentially a retread of the first and which turns some of those conclusions on their head, begins to crumble in the light of day.


No comments:

Post a Comment