<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Jon M Chu. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Radcliffe, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Jay Chou, Sanaa lathan, David Warshofsky, Tsai Chin
Running time: 1 hour 55 minutes
I really liked the first one (Now You See Me) but this sequel is so vacuous and vapid that I really wish someone had pulled a believable plot out of this incoherent film.
The problem here is that the first film was three years ago and unlike other popular franchises, most people wouldn’t even remember what that one was about or the dynamics between these characters. The filmmakers just expect us to pick off from where they left off and that’s unforgiveable.
The team of magicians who rob from the rich and give to the poor with all the showmanship of magic must regroup to steal a chip that will allow a cell phone maker to rob personal data from people’s phones. But their old nemesis Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and several other bad guys, who keep popping up want to foil their plot, get the chip and kill their leader Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and then them.
New entry in to the group Lula (Lizzy Caplan) is supposed to provide comic relief and a bubbly persona but falls flat every time she tries to be cutesy or funny. Jesse Eisenberg is playing Jesse Eisenberg. Woody Harrelson’s double role is so ridiculous you’d think you’re watching a Hindi slapstick film with Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh.
Nothing makes sense in Now You See Me 2. It’s all for show. And since CGI does all of the trickery, you’re left believing in nothing. At one point I wasn’t even sure what they were doing and why. The revenge angle for the characters played by Michael Caine and Daniel Radcliffe is tentative at best. At the end of the day you can’t get behind any of the characters or the story and it leaves you yawning and waiting for someone to pull a seriously miraculous moment out of a hat.
If the first film was a pretty girl getting into a magicians box then the second one is an empty box with a pretty girl that never returns.