‘Now You See Me 2’ DVD Review: A Tricky Recipe Pushed A Bit Too Far
Now You See Me 2 follows the four illusionists — better known as the Horsemen — in their risky mind-bending mission around the world to save it from a machiavellian plot. Rushing through dark secrets and showy tricks, this new challenge must must be met in order to clear their names.
The movie’s director, Jon Chu, offers what the audience wants: tricks here, tricks there and tricks everywhere. Sadly, a structured narrative is missing. Even though the casting is respectable with charismatic actors playing the non-conformist characters, there is a lack of meaningful story behind all the action. Dave Franco‘s pretty face could not save the day nor could Morgan Freeman‘s imposing presence.
The film starts with a flashback to the final deadly trick of Dylan Rhodes’ (Mark Ruffalo) father. It seems the plot would follow this direction and unveil the mystery of his death. But we are suddenly thrown into a time warp leading to a group reunion, where all the characters are getting ready for their upcoming mission. The first trick of the show is actually the best part of the movie, with funny and clever sleights of hand, blending humor and spectacle.
But then, we are brought to China where the plot loses its sense and credibility, going downhill into odd Chinese clichés and James Bond impressions. As we are waiting for him to appear, Walter Mabry, the tech magnate villain (Daniel Radcliffe), shows himself with neither a cape nor a wand.
The monotonous scenes follow each other, with some deja-vu feelings (the machine with which the villain could control the world) and nonexistent suspense. The tricks become predictable and covered with flashy fast-motion images — eventually the magic is destroyed with meaningless explanations. A good magician should never reveal the truth behind his secrets.
The longest and most exaggerated scene comes during The Horsemen’s visit to the highly secured laboratory where they have to ingeniously steal the digital processor card demanded by Mabry. It could have been the best scene of the movie but they decided to take the card-passing trick a step too far.
The film finishes on a nearly note of suspense foreshadowing another sequel. Despite the lack of a common thread, the film remains entertaining with its easy-going but limited comedy.