Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Now You See Me 2
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Ed Solomon
Sequel to: Now You See Me
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman, Michael CaineSanaa Lathan, Jay Chou, Tsai Chin
Seen on: 5.9.2016

Plot:
After the last stunt they pulled, the Four Horsemen have to lie low. Danny (Jesse Eisenberg) is growing increasingly frustrated with the situation – he doesn’t want to hide anymore, while Dylan (Mark Ruffalo), working as a double agent at the FBI, does his best to keep them off the Horsemen’s real trail. But when Lula (Lizzy Caplan) shows up in Danny’s apartment with a whole lot of knowledge about the Horsemen, it seems that the time of hiding is over anyway. Danny calls together the remaining Horsemen – Jack (Dave Franco) and Merritt (Woody Harrelson) to figure out a plan, only to realize that Lula wants to become one of them. So they start planning their heist, but things don’t go as planned.

While Now You See Me was an entertaining, if far from perfect, romp, Now You See Me 2 was simply a catastrophe. The best thing I can say about it is that it wasn’t entirely boring.

now_you_see_me_two

Now You See Me 2 is a film that doesn’t make a lick of sense. Instead of logic or common sense, the film is propelled along by sheer force of the daddy issues contained within. They structure everything – the tragic backstory, the current villainy, the characters themselves.

But of course, you severely limit your narrative choices if women are so completely unimportant to you that you can exchange the smurfette from the first film for another smurfette (maybe Isla Fisher asked for equal pay?) and think that it’s totally okay, because you actually lampshaded the fact. Look at my unimpressed face and see how that strategy works. There are two other women in the film, both in positions of power (one – played by Sanaa Lathan – the staple “cold black female boss”, a trope that has become entirely too popular, the other – played by Tsai Chin – the wise Asian woman, here to dispense wisdom to the white protagonists), but they barely get any playtime and are racist stereotypes.

now_you_see_me_two1That the film does have some entertaining moments inbetween is proof that magic does exist in our world. Or that magic tricks are simply entertaining. One or the other. Also, that Mark Ruffalo is a cutie and that Woody Harrelson is great. Having him in a double role was done with a surprising amount of constraint (probably the only thing where the film shows constraint) which kept it from getting annoying and gimmicky. Instead it was just funny for the time it lasted.

But the overall mild entertainment factor simply isn’t enough to make this film worthwhile – and I do regret having spent money and, what’s more, time on it.

Summarizing: Should have left well enough alone and not made a sequel.

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