Movie: Now You See Me 2
My Rating: 3 stars
Where to start with this movie? It’s so ridiculous. A group of sexy magicians teaming up to solve international crime and get revenge on their magician enemies. Does it get any cheesier than that? Normally I don’t mind a healthy dose of silliness from my movies. In fact, I seek it out. But, I usually like the filmmakers to be in on the joke. And, I strongly suspect that these filmmakers took themselves very seriously. Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, and Lizzy Caplan are the aforementioned sexy magicians. They’ve been forced underground by their rivals, but they’ve been planning a big comeback. And, of course, all of these hijinks will require our magicians to employ their impressive powers of illusion.
Aside from the goofy premise, the movie also has some other serious issues. Let’s start with the title, Now You See Me 2. I hope someone else sees the problem with this. The “2” at the end of this title of course refers to the first film, Now You See Me. So, the obvious conclusion would be that the second film should be titled with the second half of that magical phrase. But, did the studios trust the masses to whom they’d marketed this film to understand the implications of “Now You Don’t”? Clearly not. And, we see vestiges of this mistrust sprinkled throughout the movie as the characters hammer us with punishingly lengthy exposition. It’s really quite insulting to have Jesse Eisenberg look you meaningfully in the eyes and explain that no no, none of this is real. He’s doing MAGIC. You’ll give yourself a headache rolling your eyes as much as you’ll be tempted to.
So, now that I’ve aired my grievances, I’m free to tell you what I enjoyed about this movie. These movies are very silly, but they are made in the spirit of good fun. And, I like some good clean fun. Of course, the filmmakers drastically overestimate how cool people find magicians. Now, I would love nothing more than for the world of professional magicians to be full of as much mystery and intrigue as this movie suggests, but I’m really not buying it. However, the studio did allocate enough resources to this project to give it a pretty good production value. So, the movie does look pretty snazzy even though all that excitement is purely imaginary.
This is a very goofy movie. I’d really only suggest you watch it if you’re in the mood to enjoy something truly silly. If so, you may find something to like about it. But, I’m having a hard time imagining how actual magicians will receive this movie. On one hand, the film does suggest that their profession is very sexy, cool, and lucrative. On the other hand, they may find all this fakery to be a little off-putting. You’ll have to report back to me if you have any insight into this issue.