Benjamin Maio Mackay
Now You See Me 2! - 2 Stars
Fun, but uninspired sequel leaves much to be desired.
One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public's adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate.The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
The story was a copy of the first film and many of the major twists of the film (such as Michael Caine’s return) were already announced through press releases or social media. This made the story predictable and boring. There are too many similarities to the first film to miss, the basic premise is basically the same - which makes the “twist” ending very unpredictable, like the first film.
The performances in the film were mixed, Jessie Eisenberg was annoying and clearly wasn't invested in any way in his performance. Michael Caine very much looks like he didn’t want to be there, this means his performance is certainly lacking. Woody Harrelson is brilliant is his role and is clearly having fun with the film. Newcomer Lizzy Caplan was a stand-out, her performance was riveting and the level of entertainment she created made the film bearable. Daniel Radcliffe was surprisingly good, finally shaking his Harry Potter typecast, his scenes were great - all bar his performance with Michael Caine. He was clearly trying to overcompensate due to the fact he was in such esteemed company, but due to Caine’s poor performance the whole scene looked amateurish. Mark Ruffalo was uninspired, but at least he was trying. Dave Franco and Morgan Freeman gave solid, but not brilliant performances.
New director to the franchise Jon M. Chu brought nothing new, though some sequences were amazingly fun - the heist and fight scene were both brilliant. However, his lack of creativity didn’t make for amusing viewing.
Overall, if you’re happy to turn your mind off and don’t analyse the film or compare it to the first one it is fun. However, other than Lizzy Caplan’s performance it’s critically terrible.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment