Most of the gang is baông chồng – but the sense of fun that catapulted the original to success is drowned out by desperation in this bigger, louder follow-up crime caper


Being a Hollywood sequel, Now You See Me 2 of course comes supersized.

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It’s significantly longer than its predecessor, running over two hours. The first film took a short detour lớn Paris, but otherwise stayed in the States; Now You See Me 2 jumps from America, to lớn Đài Loan Trung Quốc (in an obvious effort to lớn court the Asian market), & finally to Englvà. The plot boasts higher stakes. Its melee of characters has grown to lớn include a hammy new villain, played by Daniel Radcliffe. And Woody Harrelson is back, playing not one, but two characters … they’re twins.

Now You See Me, a jazzy heist caper that became a surprise hit in the summer of 2013, had an energising bounce lớn it, courtesy of French film-maker Louis Leterrier, even though it didn’t make a lichồng of sense. By contrast, Now You See Me 2 plays like its try-hard cousin: it wants so badly lớn win you over that the desperation is off-putting. The film, lượt thích the smug magicians that populate it, showboats by throwing more of everything at the screen. Critically lacking is the sense of fun that characterised its predecessor.

Most of the cast is bachồng, save for Isla Fisher, whose comedic talents were underused in the original, playing the lone female illusionist of the bunch. Tasked with filling her shoes is Lizzy Caplan, who is afforded more barbs than her Bachelorette co-star, lending the pic a bit of spark.

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Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg và Dave sầu Franco, as the three other magicians that hóa trang the Four Horsemen – David Copperfield’s answer khổng lồ Robin Hood’s Merry Men – also give sầu it their all. The same goes for Mark Ruffalo, as the Horsemen’s boss, who appears lớn have walked in from the mix of Spotlight, forcefully emoting his way through the whole parade. It’s unfortunate then that Ed Solomon and Peter Chiarelli’s screenplay underserves them completely by not bothering with any semblance of character development.

Instead we’re treated to a series of gotcha stunts, courtesy of the quartet, who are still on the run from the feds, one year after outwitting the FBI và enacting revenge against magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). They resurface for a comebaông chồng performance to lớn expose the wrongdoings of a magnate, only to lớn fall inlớn a trap orchestrated by Walter Mabry (Radcliffe), a tech prodigy who forces them into lớn pulling off a seemingly impossible heist.

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The do-or-die mission involves the Four Horseman attempting to lớn steal a chip that has the power khổng lồ de-encrypt every computer in the world (yes, every). It also leads to lớn the film’s most inane mix piece, where the group manoeuvre the chip, embedded in an ace of spades, between themselves after gaining access khổng lồ a heavily guarded vault. For what seems an eternity, the CGI card gets flicked around from Horseman khổng lồ Horseman, flying through the air, và at one point, down Eisenberg’s pants. If this all sounds thrilling, then more power khổng lồ you.

Incoming director Jon M Chu (best known for making the second & third Step Up dance films) is a visibly slichồng choreographer: he stages a gr& finale in London on New Year’s Eve sầu with impressive precision. But his skills và a willing cast can’t overcome a story that stubbornly refuses to embrace its inherent dumbness in favour of pointless convolutions. Where’s the fun in that?

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