Most of the gang is bachồng – but the sense of fun that catapulted the original to lớn 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 to 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 lớn court the Asian market), và finally lớn England. The plot boasts higher stakes. Its melee of characters has grown khổng lồ include a hammy new villain, played by Daniel Radcliffe. And Woody Harrelson is baông chồng, 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 khổng lồ 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 sầu 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 & Dave Franteo, as the three other magicians that ảo diệu the Four Horsemen – David Copperfield’s answer lớn Robin Hood’s Merry Men – also give sầu it their all. The same goes for Mark Ruffalo, as the Horsemen’s trùm, who appears to lớn have sầu walked in from the set of Spotlight, forcefully emoting his way through the whole parade. It’s unfortunate then that Ed Solomon & Peter Chiarelli’s screenplay underserves them completely by not bothering with any semblance of character development.

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

The do-or-die mission involves the Four Horseman attempting lớn steal a chip that has the power to de-encrypt every computer in the world (yes, every). It also leads 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 lớn a heavily guarded vault. For what seems an eternity, the CGI thẻ gets flicked around from Horseman to lớn Horseman, flying through the air, and at one point, down Eisenberg’s pants. If this all sounds thrilling, then more power lớn you.

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

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