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Now You See Me 2

Coming Soon

In 2013 audiences everywhere had their collective minds blown by watching and sometimes rewatching the hit movie Now You See Me. Between the twists, turns and dazzling effects there was an actual decent story. Well here we are three years later and it’s now time for that story to continue. The sequel, Now You See Me 2, is ready to take the main stage and fully intends to dazzle and wow itself to the top of the charts. Will this experience be equally as magical as the first time around or has the gimmickry become old hat? Time to set proper expectations.
The gang’s back together again (mostly) and they have a new mission on their hands. Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Jack (Dave Franco) and newcomer Lula (Lizzy Caplan) make up a group known as The Four Horseman and they have their hands full with a new player on the scene….and maybe an old one or two as well. This time around however, their fearless leader Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) is out of the shadows and unfortunately in the spotlight as they face a new threat. Enter Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) as the antagonist to The Four Horseman, but the bigger question becomes who is pulling Walter’s strings? Other familiar returning faces are those of now-incarcerated Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and the biggest first film baddie Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). Even with all that was answered in the first movie there were a few questions that still remained. The good news here is that most of those questions, if not all of them, are addressed as Now You See Me 2 encompasses itself in layers and layers of intrigue and mystery while providing answers as well as posing new questions along the way.
As far as sequels go, Now You See Me 2 does a pretty good job of keeping its core together. Arguably the two biggest losses from the original, director Louis Leterrier and original Horseman Henley (Isla Fisher), are gone but not forgotten. Henley is briefly mentioned and Leterrier is still involved with the sequel by becoming an executive producer. This also afforded him time to direct The Brothers Grimsby (2016) starring Sacha Baron Cohen and, coincidentally (or maybe not) Isla Fisher who also happens to be married to Cohen in real life. Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex (TV Series)) does a decent job as a “replacement” to the spot that was left vacant by Fisher’s departure. The big newcomer here is Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) who also has another movie set to release in three weeks called Swiss Army Man. The role in which he is cast here is a perfect fit for him. Radcliffe seems to embrace his inner-Malfoy (yes Draco Malfoy of Harry Potter fame) with his spoiled pretentious smarmy attitude toward The Four Horsemen. His Walter Mabry character is one audiences will quickly come to loathe.
As for the rest of the cast, most of which we’ve already seen the first time around, they performances are pretty much in line with the original. The strength of Now You See Me 2 is not about its actors, nor is it intended to be. It’s more about the thought provoking and head scratching feats we witness on the screen. It’s those acts, almost unperceivable minute details that are all the difference in the world. If you’re like me and enjoy paying close attention to the details, you’ll get more out of a movie like this. We all like to think we’re better than the average Joe. Our egos sometimes cause us miss what’s right in our faces the entire time. Why? Because trying to focus on the smallest of things often leads to missing the big picture right in front of your face. The mind games of Now You See Me 2 are just as strong as the first movie.
Now You See Me 2 is fun, frustrating and fascinating all at the same time. Some will be confused, others will be amazed. It’s all about how you perceive what’s presented to your eyes. I recommend staying put in your seat for the duration of the film (129 minutes) and to keep your faces out of your phones (not only because it’s dick thing to do in dark movie theaters). You might just miss something something important although that old adage, seeing is believing goes right out the window here. This is a great time to be a fan of movies as there are many solid choices available to you with this one smack dab in the middle of that mix.

Now You See Me 2 is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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