Now You See Me 2 Review

By Kyle Tien

June 2016


Now You See Me 2 is a movie about magic (with free Harry Potter!). It tells the story of the four “horsemen” and their adventure to crash an iphone showcasing, steal a magic chip, and con the people who conned them. All in all, it’s a fun action adventure movie using magic tricks as it’s weapon of choice.  

            However the movie often relies too heavily on the genius of it’s own tricks, and there lies its weakness. Some tricks are simply not plausible, yet the characters act as if there are no lapses in logic. The use of hypnotism in the movie, for example, seemed like the relevant cop out for each trick. It forces you to believe that by spinning a pizza box with the words sleep on it you can tranquilize a fully grown Woody Harrelson.

            That said there were many thing I did enjoy about this movie. For one thing, there were some pretty slick magic tricks. There was one scene where the horsemen found themselves in a compromising situation and in order to hide the magic chip they had to pass it around among themselves without being caught. It was something new and very intriguing to watch.

            The acting in this movie was also good. Each character for me seemed to fit (except Woody Harrelson's twin brother). Morgan Freeman’s voice was smooth as ever, and Jesse Eisenberg’s arrogant yet awkward portrayal really shown through. One minor complaint for me was when Lizzy Caplan tried to be funny (although the rest of her acting was on point). Not to say some scenes weren’t genuinely humorous, it’s just that most of the time her optimistic attitude felt a touch annoying (rip off Amy Poehler), and at others painfully transparent that some scriptwriter was pandering to the audience.

A movie is suppose to take you into another world. Now with genuinely good jokes and good acting you are teleported to that reality. But when something breaks your suspension of disbelief (Warcraft CGI), it feels extraordinarily less realistic.

The other role I didn’t adore fervently was Woody Harrelson’s evil twin brother. To me he was just a little too jokey and irritating.

All in all, however I would give the movie a solid 8 out of 10, maybe even as high as an 8.3. It doesn’t deserve any higher because of the obvious plot holes and unexplained “magic”. It could be rated lower if plot holes really annoy you, however I enjoyed it for what it was. If you are the type of person who needs everything to make sense at the end of the movie, don’t watch this. But if you just want to have a fun time, I would wholeheartedly recommend it.


Now You See Me 2 Spoiler Review

            For me the main problem was the plausibility of the magic. Some tricks, such as hypnotism, just felt cheap, and an easy way to write an explanation for how to get out of any scenario. Unfortunately I myself can’t come up with a better solution for these extravagant magic tricks, but there are tons of spectacular magic tricks performed by extremely talented magicians that could be incorporated in this movie.

            The other thing that bugged me the whole time was losing the original feeling of the heist. From the first movie all they did was do cool shows, steal things, and run away from the cops. But in this movie it was half heist and half conning the people who conned them.

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the sequel should be exactly like the original, quite the opposite. A sequel should be judged on what it brings that is new to the table. Creed is a great movie, but there are undeniable parallels with the original Rocky movie, so thus loses points for being less original.

            I didn’t like the horsemen getting back at the antagonists because at times it felt like the horsemen were out of control, and were only saved by the “resources” of The Eye. Not to say that the horsemen should never not be in control. On the contrary it was a great move the movie made when the horsemen were at the apple convention and things went south. But they were too easily subdued by “hypnotism”, and I would have prefered to see them realise that they were getting conned and immediately consolidate and come up with a counter-plan. Improvising they use the environment around them as “resources”. So they do have troubles but they adapt to them with their own wit and ability.