[SPOILERS] Nerdyviews: Now You See Me 2

“Magic that takes place in someone else’s hands is so much more powerful than magic that takes place in our own.” -Shawn Farquhar

Now you see me…

I have always been a big fan of magic. My introduction to that wondrous world was by the British magician, the late Paul Daniels.

So when I found out that 2013’s illusion thriller Now You See Me was getting a sequel, I really couldn’t contain my excitement.

Special thanks as always goes to my dear friend Kevin for the advanced screening passes.

*** YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE REALM OF SPOILERS. PRESTO-CHANGEO! ***

… Now you don’t

The Setup

Basically, the movie opens a year where we left off from the first one.

  • The remaining Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco) are restless and living underground after their last stunt.
  • Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) is stewing in jail, seemingly plotting his revenge.
  • Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) continues to live his double life attempting to hunt down and capture his own team.

After recruiting a new “Girl Horseman” (Lizzy Caplan), the crew gets put to work where they hijack a tech giant Octa‘s big product press reveal only to be hijacked themselves by the (no-so) deceased former CEO of Octa himself, Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his father, disgraced insurance tycoon, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine).

The Tricks

Director Jon M. Chu definitely used his love of dance creatively to choreograph some of the film’s tricks.

I will admit that I was a little disappointed with the predictability of the Shrike safe escape. The flashback focusing on the significance of the watch given to him by his father, then the watch he received from the magic shop in Macau. The moment Walter revealed the safe and had his lackeys lock Rhodes inside, my brain immediately screamed, “the watch, use the flipping watch!” Also, the card heist routine went on for way too long.

That being said, I still found the illusions used visually stunning. I particularly enjoyed Atlas’ rain manipulation.

The Baddie

Daniel played Walter as a wonderful mix of awkward, nerdy, and batshit crazy. I especially enjoyed the deliciously sinister scenes he shares with Michael Caine. Yes, there were times where the acting was a bit over the top, but the adversarial dynamic between Mabry and the Horsemen was fun to watch on screen.

The New Horsewoman

Lula is awkward, quirky, sassy and completely badass. And although I was a little upset that Isla Fisher was unable to reprise her role (and the excuse given for her absence was flimsy at best), I thought Lizzy was a great addition to the team. Nobody else could have pulled off a decapitation introduction quite like Lula. My favourite scene with her is when she is flirting with Jack and reveals she’s not like the other girls he’s dated by stealing his wallet and belt.

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The Reveal

I found the ending so satisfying. The final illusion was orchestrated wonderfully and most of the loose ends from the first movie were neatly tied up. It was quite an emotional journey for Rhodes. And it was nice to see him and Bradley get much needed closure from their pasts. The allusion to the “man behind the curtain” and the Wizard of Oz made me smile. Plus the use of the same image that opened the film to close the film was perfect. Full circle. Chills.

I’m aware that the critics were mixed in their reviews of both films, but here’s what I think. If you analyze too carefully what’s happening in front of you, you take away the mystery, the magic is gone. And really where is the fun in that?

“The closer you look… The less you see.” – J. Daniel Atlas


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Be sure to check out NYSM 2 which opens in theaters June 10! And if you go see it, let us know what you thought.

‘Til next time,
Rach

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 3.36.30 PM

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One Comment

  1. Do you know what brand the watch was?

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