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Review: Now You See Me 2

Now You See Me 2
06.07.2016
5 10
now you see me 2

PLOT: Eighteen months after the events of the first film, the four horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan and Dave Franco) along with their secret leader Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) are sent on a global mission in order to foil the plans of their old enemy Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) - who’s now in prison and thirsty for revenge.

REVIEW: Without a doubt, 2016 is shaping-up to be the year of unnecessary sequels. After THE HUNTSMAN, TMNT 2, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and NIEGHBORS 2 comes NOW YOU SEE ME 2, a follow-up to a movie I’m still not convinced many people out there actually liked all that much. The fact that it turned a profit seems to have given Lionsgate the excuse it needed to turn it in to a franchise, minus director Louis Leterrier (replaced by GI JOE: RETALIATION’s Jon Chu) and one of the original stars - Isla Fisher, whose absence is explained away in one throwaway line.

now you see me 2 jesse eisenberg

Unlike the first, which was a relatively modest chase thriller, the sequel’s been optimized for international success, with far-flung locations (specifically - Macau thanks to the now all-important Chinese market) and a new heist-movie vibe that’s clearly trying to do for this hopeful series what FAST FIVE did for Vin Diesel and company.

In this case, bigger isn’t necessarily better as NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (wouldn’t “TOO” or a "Now You Don’t” subtitle be more apropos?) suffers from all the problems the first did - namely that the horsemen aren’t terribly compelling and the magic tricks are all CGI-aided rather than good-old sleight-of-hand. If the first movie was like watching a Vegas act, this one is the equivalent of when David Copperfield (coincidentally the co-producer) made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Unlike the first, which kept the Horsemen somewhat mysterious while Ruffalo was the protagonist, this time they’re firmly the leads, with the arc being Eisenberg’s Daniel resenting handing over leadership to Ruffalo, who winds up on the run from the FBI after having his secret identity exposed.

now you see me 2 dave franco lizzy caplan  jesse eisenberg woody harrelson

Most of the movie revolves around an attempt to steal a microchip that will give Daniel Radcliffe’s villainous Walter Mabry access to all the world’s computers. In essence, this is science vs magic (guess which wins?). While putting in Harry Potter as the non-magic baddie is a clever touch, the rest of the movie is assembly line in the extreme, with the biggest cliché in the book, that of the “evil twin” being the big twist (for the sake of spoilers I won’t reveal who it is - but it comes along early in the first act).

No doubt enticed by big paychecks, everyone’s back and game for a bigger sequel, but despite some nifty (albeit unconvincing) tricks none of the characters really stand-out other than Lizzy Caplan as the new girl horseman, doing her best to make people forget Fisher by throwing-off lots of wisecracks (and romancing the Dave Franco character). Woody Harrelson’s part is expanded from the first film to give him ample scenery to chew (he’s more effective in low-key mode) while Eisenberg, with his hair still buzzed from BATMAN V SUPERMAN, dials it down as the now mature Daniel, who doesn’t quite have the star power to be the Vin Diesel of this furious crew. Mark Ruffalo’s probably got the most interesting part, with him dumping the rumpled act of the first film now that he’s a full-on illusionist. Freeman and Michael Caine are also both back, with the latter in what amounts to little more than an extended cameo.

Fitting the China-setting, this one actually feels like a Chinese tent-pole in the mold of something like THE MAN FROM MACAU or CHINESE ZODIAC, with slapstick comedy, big set pieces but very little in the way of memorable action save a very brief scene where Ruffalo uses tricks to fight some Chinese musclemen.

Whether or not this turns into a full-blown franchise remains to be seen, but the ending clearly sets up yet another sequel. With an international audience the priority now, it could happen as this is the kind of empty-headed spectacle that exports well. But, despite all the money put into it, the movie drags and drags at just over two hours and in the end, it’s like watching an old magician just do the same tricks over and over. This is another sequel that can easily be skipped and doesn’t particularly improve on the original.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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8:39AM on 06/08/2016

Ehhh

I thought the first movie was really boring, forgettable, and unnecessary...not shocked to see the sequel is pretty much the same.
I thought the first movie was really boring, forgettable, and unnecessary...not shocked to see the sequel is pretty much the same.
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11:07PM on 06/07/2016
The first movie was a waste of time. I liked The Martian until the whole shoehorned plot of the Chinese rocket. That was something an established filmmaker like Ridley Scott should be ashamed of. Fuck China.
The first movie was a waste of time. I liked The Martian until the whole shoehorned plot of the Chinese rocket. That was something an established filmmaker like Ridley Scott should be ashamed of. Fuck China.
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2:56PM on 06/07/2016
I enjoyed the first movie, but can't really find a reason to see this sequel. I am not so sure I agree that the first shouldn't get a sequel, since the world is interesting enough that it could be developed, but it appears that they aren't interested in doing that. This seems like a pretty lazy sequel to me.
I enjoyed the first movie, but can't really find a reason to see this sequel. I am not so sure I agree that the first shouldn't get a sequel, since the world is interesting enough that it could be developed, but it appears that they aren't interested in doing that. This seems like a pretty lazy sequel to me.
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12:05PM on 06/07/2016
I don't know why you consider TMNT 2 a "innecesary sequel", it's the kind of movie that usually got a lot of sequels, like ir ot not, it's a franchise with a lot of fans. The rest of the movie mentioned in the article are real "innecesary sequels". I didn't enjoy NYSM much, is more a stupid action movie (c'on some set pieces are really stupid! and more impossible than M:I action scenes!) than a magician film. So, I don't care about this one.
I don't know why you consider TMNT 2 a "innecesary sequel", it's the kind of movie that usually got a lot of sequels, like ir ot not, it's a franchise with a lot of fans. The rest of the movie mentioned in the article are real "innecesary sequels". I didn't enjoy NYSM much, is more a stupid action movie (c'on some set pieces are really stupid! and more impossible than M:I action scenes!) than a magician film. So, I don't care about this one.
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11:34AM on 06/07/2016
I'm surprised that Now You See Me gets the sequel. The first movie was alright - got me hooked up until the third act came along.
I'm surprised that Now You See Me gets the sequel. The first movie was alright - got me hooked up until the third act came along.
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10:58AM on 06/07/2016
I was an unashamed fan of the first one and found it to be rather underrated so this will be something I'll look forward to renting. Frankly I enjoyed it plenty and like everything they're doing with this one. One thing though, why does Dave Franco keep taking all my biggest crushes? Why?
I was an unashamed fan of the first one and found it to be rather underrated so this will be something I'll look forward to renting. Frankly I enjoyed it plenty and like everything they're doing with this one. One thing though, why does Dave Franco keep taking all my biggest crushes? Why?
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8:39AM on 06/07/2016
I honestly thought the first one was kinda lame. Was surprised when all the positive reviews came out for it. I'll watch half of this on TNT 3 years from now.
I honestly thought the first one was kinda lame. Was surprised when all the positive reviews came out for it. I'll watch half of this on TNT 3 years from now.
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8:21AM on 06/07/2016

Ehhhh.....

Wait for rental
Wait for rental
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5:10AM on 06/07/2016

Not Sure

Bumbray's opinions as a reviewer, for me, are really hard to agree with. You have his utter dislike for Sandler, which I get but don't agree with and now he's rating TMNT 2, Alice Through The Looking Glass and Neighbors 2 "unnecessary sequels". TMNT had a budget of $125m and made $493m. Alice had a budget of $200m and made $1bil. Neighbors had a budget of $18mil and made $270mil. Unnecessary? All these were cash cows for the studios and were very successful, Neighbors especially. Now You See Me
Bumbray's opinions as a reviewer, for me, are really hard to agree with. You have his utter dislike for Sandler, which I get but don't agree with and now he's rating TMNT 2, Alice Through The Looking Glass and Neighbors 2 "unnecessary sequels". TMNT had a budget of $125m and made $493m. Alice had a budget of $200m and made $1bil. Neighbors had a budget of $18mil and made $270mil. Unnecessary? All these were cash cows for the studios and were very successful, Neighbors especially. Now You See Me made $352mil off of a $75mil budget so it was hardly a flop either. Are all of the originals classics? No. Were they "unnecessary"? From a business point of view, no way. If I had a movie that made over 10 times it's budget back, damn straight I'd be making an unnecessary sequel.
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8:10AM on 06/07/2016
I'l go out on a limb and say he wasn't talking about how much money they made, but whether they were movies that demanded sequels. I was surprised to see TMNT on the list, too.
I'l go out on a limb and say he wasn't talking about how much money they made, but whether they were movies that demanded sequels. I was surprised to see TMNT on the list, too.
8:27AM on 06/07/2016
I get what you're saying but unnecessary would be, in my book, a sequel like Joe Dirt 2. Nobody asked for that.
I get what you're saying but unnecessary would be, in my book, a sequel like Joe Dirt 2. Nobody asked for that.
8:37AM on 06/07/2016
It wasn't really necessary for any of these sequels to further they're stories. I agree it has nothing to do with money. The plots are just recycled or forced. Inception was highly successful and imagine a sequel where Cilian Murphy realizes what they did to him so he comes for revenge. That's not perhaps a perfect example but I understand what the reviewer is referring to
It wasn't really necessary for any of these sequels to further they're stories. I agree it has nothing to do with money. The plots are just recycled or forced. Inception was highly successful and imagine a sequel where Cilian Murphy realizes what they did to him so he comes for revenge. That's not perhaps a perfect example but I understand what the reviewer is referring to
7:02PM on 06/07/2016
TMNT was always a planned trilogy, if not more, and Through The Looking Glass is another chapter in the story. Neighbors you can argue against but as I said, it was sucessful both finacially and critically so I don't get the unnecessary part.
TMNT was always a planned trilogy, if not more, and Through The Looking Glass is another chapter in the story. Neighbors you can argue against but as I said, it was sucessful both finacially and critically so I don't get the unnecessary part.
4:07AM on 06/07/2016
the major problem I had with the first one was that

A) none of the characters are likeable. They are all assholes and thieves etc who rip people off.

B) the whole plot was to get revenge against the insurance company that didnt pay out on Ruffalo's fathers death which is dumb because no insurance company on EARTH would pay out for an idiot who locked himself in a safe and dumped himself in a river. As well as revenge against the guy whose company made the safe and blaming them because
the major problem I had with the first one was that

A) none of the characters are likeable. They are all assholes and thieves etc who rip people off.

B) the whole plot was to get revenge against the insurance company that didnt pay out on Ruffalo's fathers death which is dumb because no insurance company on EARTH would pay out for an idiot who locked himself in a safe and dumped himself in a river. As well as revenge against the guy whose company made the safe and blaming them because the metal expanded in the water and he couldn't get out. MAYBE ITS CUZ ITS NOT MEANT TO BE DUMPED IN W ATER WITH A HUMAN INSIDE.

First movie was such trash and was only a hit because the general audience (not us shmoes) are easily ooooooooo'd and aaaaaaaaah'd by CGI and a slick presentation.
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