Pooya | Sep 23, 2020 | 0
Review: ‘Now You See Me 2’ is Fun But Lacks the Magic from the First
“Now You See Me 2” isn’t as magical as the first.
As the magical sequel with a star-studded cast, “Now You See Me 2” reunites the four horsemen for a new adventure. The film continues the story but is this continuation supplemental to the growing franchise or is it unnecessary fodder?
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 2
I feel like both of the “Now You See Me” films have used misdirection to distract us from the cinematic flaws to instead focus on the magic. They’ve all been plagued by a very simple plot and simple characters with no real motive.
This sequel carries a lot of the same traits but with a little less intrigue. It’s clear that they attempted to expand upon the plot and characters but it’s at the expense of the magic we love. We learn more about the characters but not enough to form any true connections. We learn of a sibling of a certain character that provides some comic relief but no real depth. Also the fate of Dylan’s (Mark Ruffalo) father is explored further but with little resolve. There is some simple enjoyment that comes from the exploration but for me it was highly predictable.
The plot was also lacking despite the attempt to find meaning with the search for “The Eye” and Dylan’s father’s fate. “Now You See Me 2” was built on the foundation of the first film and that foundation was not that strong. The first film relied on magical showmanship and the sequel splits that reliance between that and a lackluster story. The magic was the last film’s strong suit and it should have remained that way for this sequel to flourish.
The part that this sequel does get right falls into the visual realm. When the magic is present on screen it is a splendor to watch. Watching the horsemen perform is like being part of the audience in a magic show and are some of the most engaging moments of the film. In addition to the magic act, the locale for their performances supplement the actual magic. Seeing the act being taken across the world adds to the wonder and makes for an entertaining show in the end.
Overall there were a lot of weak elements from the first film that seemed to be even weaker in this sequel. There are some redeeming moments in the magic acts themselves but this is a very cookie-cutter type film not made for its cinematic splendor.
Entertainment Value – 3
It’s hard not to compare this film to the first one, but the comparisons have to be made given the continuity of the story. “Now You See Me 2” shares the focus on entertainment that its predecessor had but that focus drifts when trying to salvage a story from an almost empty repository.
The fun is definitely there and engaging but the only flaw in that entertainment is that there needs to be more. I enjoyed the constant magic and constant chase in the first film and I honestly would have been accepting of the sequel being repetitious in that regard.
I would probably place the first film’s entertainment value at a 4 or close to a 4 but this sequel could have used a bit more of that magic that the first film touted. It’s not as entertaining but I think general audiences will definitely find some fun in the film.
Rewatchability – 2.5
This isn’t a film I would seek out in the theater again but I may watch it in passing. While I enjoyed this film, it kept me longing for the first movie. I would say I could watch “Now You See Me 2” again but honestly I think I would start the movie and then stop it to put in the “Now You See Me” instead.
- Entertainment Value
"Now You See Me 2" is a fun film with a lot of faults. It suffers from some poorly developed characters and a very basic plot but when the magic is present, it's engaging enough to keep you watching.
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