Here's the thing about 2013's "Now You See Me," I didn't hate it but I wasn't completely wowed by it either. Mildly entertaining is how I'd describe it. It's heist caper like Ocean's Eleven but with faster sleight of hand. So to say that "Now You See Me" didn't have its amusing moments, would be a lie. But this sequel however, NOW YOU SEE ME 2, is a big giant mess.
In NOW YOU SEE ME 2, the four horsemen Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, after a year of outwitting the FBI and winning the public's adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. But a certain revenge plot threatens their impossible heist yet.
The first film had more mystery, thriller and intrigue, so at the very least it kept you engaged, but NOW YOU SEE ME 2 resorts to cheap laughs and a build up that frankly kinda insults our intelligence. The film would like to make you believe that it's smart, it even thinks itself that way, but in its attempt to give you a seemingly intricate and elaborate trick and a big reveal, it gets lost in its own process.
Isla Fisher's Henley whom I thought was a strong female character, got replaced by Lizzy Caplan's Lula who's more concerned about getting laid. For some reason, they had to present Woody Harrelson's character's identical twin brother, also played by Woody Harrelson. I think that was a poor decision on the filmmakers' part. It's bad enough that they had to resort to this annoying unlikable family member, on top of that, they couldn't just get another actor and have it be a brother, instead of identical twin?! Woody Harrelson is a great actor, but watching two of him bantering, that's the point when I stop taking this movie seriously as a piece of entertainment. This franchise says that the closer you look, the less you see. Well, if you step back a bit, you'll see the big picture that NOW YOU SEE ME 2 is not as crafty as it's cracked up to be.
-- Rama's Screen --