Back in 2013 Catherine and me went on a date night to the Odeon in the Metro Centre. Generally our experience of the cinema had been a shrug and “yeah, it was alright”. So to set this date night on the right track we upgraded our seats to the Gallery and trough-ed lots of sweets, popcorn and nachos, plus a few drinks.
The Film… was gripping, fast paced and clever in the way it unfolded. We loved it and it rounded off the date night really well. How would the sequel stand up though?
Now You See Me 2
Sequels are always a questionable asset. With the impact of the original will a follow on hit with the same punch or will if always be compared to the original? The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes seemed to suggest that Now Your See Me 2 was a hit. Several interviews of the cast said it was stronger than the original. As I’m a little cynical I prefer to gauge things myself as I’ve been caught out several times by a film review.
We went to see Now You See Me 2 on the release day at Vue Cinema, Cramlington thanks to our Vitality points. The premise of the original film is that 4 magicians have been brought together to create a team called “The Four Horsemen”. Their mission set out by a secret leader was to steal / return billions of dollars out of an insurance company owners pockets, through careful manipulation and magic.
The sequel is based on the continuation of the Four Horsemen around a year later. The group went into hiding while waiting for their next mission. The wait was a little too long for Henley Reeves / The High Priestess (Isla Fischer), so she left the group, to be later replaced by Lula May (Lizzy Caplan).
Eventually their mission is unveiled. To expose a businessman whose mobile phone company is about to release a phone, that will be used to steal your personal data. With a combination of illusion, hypnotism and data hacking the Four Horsemen, hijack the launch party and enlighten the audience of technology fans and journalists.
At this point the film was paralleling the anticipation levels of the final set up in the original. Then there was a twist. A mysterious body hacks into the hacked presentation and exposes The Four Horsemen. Jack Wilder, who faked his own death in the previous film is shown to be alive and running for cover. The remaining Horsemen are given a signal to run for their escape plan. Which doesn’t quote go to plan.
One of my hobbies in the past was Magic / illusion and I loved the technicality of a routine. Every step is thought about to over power the subtleties of miss direction. The film uses the same planning style as a quality Magic trick, with several revelations, each building to a bigger finish. Several effects are viewable as picking apart a magic effect and its the attention to the details that really make this shine for me.
The weak point for me was a long-lost twin of Woody Harrelson (Merritt McKinney), to emphasise the difference him and his twin, there is a giant set of veneers and a curly hair do! Woody’s twin (chase) is possibly style to be over the top, but the parallel acting mad this character a little too over the top for me.
The Film was comparable to the first one in terms of presence and I feel it wasn’t better than the original, but as good as. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
If you’ve seen the posters or trailers of the film you will know that Daniel Radcliffe is in the film. Yet I haven’t mentioned him in the review! I didn’t want to add any spoilers to this, so that is where it will stay, but you can’t help but think “There is Harry Potter!”