‘A magician’s greatest strength is an empty fist…’
Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine. That by itself is a world class cast. Throw in Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan and you have something really special. And what has attracted such a starry menagerie of talent? The latest Christopher Nolan opus? A prestige picture perhaps? Something that will win both acclaim or awards? Nope. None of the above. Instead, Hollywood’s finest have gathered for a silly action movie sequel based on magic. Ours is not to reason why. No. Just enjoy the slightly ludicrous results.
The Four Horseman are back in a plot that is so convoluted that it is impossible to describe in a few words. Essentially, all our favourites from the first movie are back (minus Isla Fisher) and nobody knows who is good or who is bad, not until the final scene anyway. With a movie like this it is best to simply ignore the plot all together and instead enjoy the genuinely impressive fight sequences and the camaraderie shared by a charismatic cast who are clearly having a ball.
Ruffalo, Eisenberg and Harrelson all play off each other beautifully and Lizzy Kaplan adds a refreshing element of wide eyed excitement as new recruit to the Four Horsemen, Lula. As with the first movie, this is not a film that should be taken too seriously or analysed too much, or even at all. This is entertainment, pure and simple. Sometimes you want something that is going to make you think, to make you question your philosophical beliefs and the very nature of life itself. Often though, I just want a film that I can watch while I lounge on the sofa eating Coco Pops with the cat. And if there was a Best Picture to Lounge Around on the Sofa with a Cat at the Oscars… Now You See Me 2 would probably win it.
With a third sequel seemingly on the way, the Now You See Me franchise has taken the place of the Ocean’s film as something to watch when nothing else is on. This sounds like an insult but it isn’t. It’s difficult to make something that can be enjoyed on some level by pretty much everyone but director Jon M. Chu and his talented cast have done just that.
Now, crack open the Coco Pops, summon the cat, and get started.