by Alan Yudman
I was very late to the party on the original NOW YOU SEE ME. That movie introduced us to a group of outstanding magicians known as The Four Horsemen and shoed how they use their gifts to right wrongs. The Horsemen were Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Isla Fisher. I just wanted it about a month ago and afterward wondered why I had waited so long. That’s what I get for listening to reviewers. I liked that movie a great deal. It presented an involving mystery and had a great twist that I didn’t see coming until it was almost upon me. So what about the sequel?
NOW YOU SEE ME 2 finds The Horsemen in hiding. One has left the fold (I guess Isla Fisher couldn’t make it, but was capably replaced by Lizzy Caplan). They are lured out by the prospect of outing a tech genius whose new phone technology can basically hack into any computer. But the only ones being outed are The Horsemen. They are exposed, kidnapped and forced to steal the very tech they were about to uncover.
I don’t want to talk too much about the plot other than in broad strokes because the twists and turns and intricacies of what is going on are what this movie is all about. So sorry, you are going to have to see it for yourself if you want details. While both movies play out like a good whodunnit, what sets these apart from most are the use of illusion and magic to disguise what is going on. That, and the acting. Oh the acting. These are some of the people I would pay any price to see do just about anything. Eisenberg, Harrelson and Caplan are better than average here. Because of the size of the cast, the good stuff is spread around by necessity. But even in their limited screen time they are hard to beat. Add Mark Ruffalo as an FBI agent, Morgan Freeman as a professional naysayer, Daniel Radcliffe as the villain and Michael Caine as the father of the villain and well, you can see the talent is there.
The sequel isn’t quite as twisty as the first film and doesn’t have as shocking a reveal at the end. But it is nonetheless enjoyable and fun. With all the bigger budget and heavier publicized movies out now, you’d better go see NOW YOU SEE ME 2 before it vanishes.