The Four Horsemen come back into the light to take on their biggest challenge yet.
2013’s Now You See Me was entertaining hogwash, and the sequel is pretty much the same deal.
So the short version of this review is that if you liked the first film then this one will probably work just as well for you. On the other hand it’s unlikely to convert and newcomers - but maybe that’s not a problem given the box office return the first time around.
There’s a lot of razzle and dazzle in the film, courtesy of new director Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D, GI Joe 2), which makes perfect sense for a story about magicians who steal things during spectacular stunts.
The set pieces are enjoyable enough, with some over the top card skills a particular highlight. Some vehicular action is a little dull but otherwise this is a handsome production which amps up the silliness to keep things moving at a brisk pace.
Scriptwise it’s a bit of a mess, not so much twist-laden as hopelessly convoluted. Ed Solomon (Men in Black, Charlie’s Angels) also has a real problem with natural dialogue, with every character blaring out words that are just broad exposition rather than a conversation.
It’s still an impressive cast, though the returning members get little to do, bar Woody Harrelson. The meagre emotional content of the first film is missing so Ruffalo doesn’t even have the brooding things going on.
In terms of new additions, Lizzy Caplan definitely makes an impression but her motormouthing mostly annoyed me. Then there’s Daniel Radcliffe who is mostly entertaining as the big bad.
A few fun tricks, some famous faces and a fittingly over the top finale make Now You See Me 2 a very familiar 2 hours at the cinema. It’s a little long and utterly basic but entertaining enough while it lasts.
- Daniel Anderson