Film Review: Waste of Talent, Sequel Energy in ‘Now You See Me 2’

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CHICAGO – Separately, you love all these movie star icons and funny people – Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Lizzy Caplan and Dave Franco. Together, they add up to a terrible sequel, “Now You See Me 2.” Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

There was no need to make the sequel “Now You See Me 2,” and the filmmakers and lead actors went out and proved it. As a boilerplate, the plot is exactly the same from the first film – a band of rogue magicians (yes, magicians) called The Four Horseman are not only David Copperfield-like entertainers, they are superheroes saving the earth (for some reason). In this outing, they are set up as some kind of anti-heroes, but they are so “above it all” that the outcome for them is exactly predictable. If a screenplays sets out to make its characters all god-like, then what chance does even Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe and the great Michael Caine (portraying villains) have? My wish was for them to have a large sock with manure in it, to at least embarrass the arrogant Horseman. But they were content to be defeated (spoiler alert) with no manure in sight, except the film itself.

The Four Horsemen have fled underground after the events in the first film (as well they should have). They are both the magicians and their facilitators, including Danny (Jesse Eisenberg), Dylan (Mark Ruffalo), Jack (Dave Franco), Merritt (Woody Harrelson) and Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman). Female magic doer Henley has flown the coop, so daffy Lula (Lizzy Caplan) joins the gang.

It seems that an evil tech billionaire named Walter (Daniel Radcliffe) is trying to lure the Horsemen back to the surface, and actually kidnaps them with the help of Merritt’s twin brother Chase (Harrelson, again). Behind all this nefarious activity is Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), the antagonist from the first film. From China to London the Horsemen ride, until what’s up their sleeve is revealed.

”Now You See Me 2” opens everywhere on June 10th. Featuring Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Lizzy Caplan. Screenplay by Ed Solomon. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Now You See Me 2”

House of Cards: Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg and Lizzy Caplan in ‘Now You See Me 2’
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Now You See Me 2”

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