Audiences were left in awe after seeing ‘Now You See Me’. And now, the release of ‘Now You See Me 2’ is going to show what it really is to leave someone awestruck. Another sequel that, like its prequel, is another film in which its basic strengths are in its capacity to create a stunning visual experience. Unfortunately, that’s something we have been experiencing lately this year in many films: exceptional effects but a lack in creativity, especially when it comes to the background story.
‘Now You See Me 2’ maintains in line with what was seen in the first movie: a intriguing story of a group of magicians, The Four Horsemen, who join forces to accomplish a mission given by a secret society named ‘The Eye’. In this case, they will have to steal a chip instead of a bank and not even the new characters that join the story can add anything new. The most remarkable ones? Illusionist Lulla May (played by Lizzy Caplan) who has come to replace Henley Reeves (played by Isla Fisher) and, of course, the new villain: a wealthy spoilt brat (yet a technology prodigy) named Walter Marby, which is played by Daniel Radcliffe in his first villain role.
It might seem a little awkward at first, (to the hard-core Potter fans perhaps) but it’s not uncomfortable to see Radcliffe as a villain. After seeing his brilliant portrayal of a capricious tycoon, a non-believer of magic (how curious!), who knows if he will be recognised some day as villains rather than a hero? And of course, there’s also the presence of actor Michael Caine, who returns as the millionaire Arthur Tressler. It’s too bad that we cannot enjoy a little bit more the return of another star: Morgan Freeman also returns as the ex-magician Thaddeus Bradley, this time with another ace up his sleeve.
The rest of the cast, despite their few chances to shine, manage to show a bit of their darker sides: the leader Dylan Rhodes (played by Mark Ruffalo) seems to have become even more tormented by what happened to his father, magician Lionel Shrike, while Daniel Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg) will be carried by his ambition, now more than ever. However, the most brilliant performance (better said, double performance) is Woody Harrelson’s great work on portraying both the carefree self-proclaimed psychic Merrit McKinney and, now, his twin brother: the greedy, sometimes poofy, Chase McKinney.
Creating something so visually stunning is not only putting magicians on the scene, but the showing of unbelievable tricks: such as never-ending sleight of hand or even stopping the rain are amazing to watch. In this case, it also means to deal with many situations, though some a little unrealistic, it all ends up being a fantastic journey through New York, Macau and London. It might seem a little crazy, but the truth is that it actually is really good all put together.
One of the things that makes this film stand out from the rest is its genre. Perhaps the reasons why Now You See Me’, and now, ‘Now You See Me 2’ have succeeded has been because of its combination of a thriller/spy pattern with magic.
However, despite receiving some mixed reviews from critics, ‘Now You See Me 2’ has to be considered a well done exercise of keeping up with a story that surprised the audience.