Potential Floundered | Review of ‘Now You See Me 2’

By Cynthia Ayala

Now You See Me 2 starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe & Lizzy Caplan
Summit Entertainment
Image Credit: IMDB

The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.


Almost as good as it’s predecessor, but the film suffers from a big problem of overreaching which seems to be a big problem with Hollywood lately, just make things bigger, bring everything in, the story comes second. Same thing happened right here. The tricks are too big, too outlandish, and yes, I know that magic tricks can be as big as a plane, but for the film purposes, the story should come first, not second, to make for a more enjoyable experience.

There is a limit to how much the audience can suspend belief and the first half of the movie was good at doing that, creating believable tricks that were also intricate but easy to understand and break down for the audience. The audience should be bewildered, but not confused, the audience comes to the theater to be entertained, not use their brains, and for the last half of the film, as the tricks become bigger and bigger, and the story a little more complicated, the audience is starting to tune out, which explains many of the negative reviews. It’s a good movie, but it is requiring way to much from the audience, whether to expect them to suspend their beliefs a little too much, or having them think a little too much about the premise and the story. The tricks are just too big and they don’t need to be. The story, much like the previous, should have had one solid goal in mind, a few plot here and there is fine, but they have to fit within the story without question. For the most part, they do, and then some don’t.

I will say this, though; the writers did a brilliant job of writing Isla Fisher out of this film due to her pregnancy and did an amazing job writing in Lizzy Caplan. She was great and the way the writers wrote her and the way the character pulled her off made her such a joy to watch. She had the chemistry with the cast, and she was able to really make herself one of the horsemen. Her performance was effortless. Daniel Radcliffe, well, he left a little desired. I love Daniel, I think he is an amazing actor, but because of the story it seems as though he was overacting just a little bit to really nail that psychopathic character. He was brilliant, he was a great twist to the plot, but there was some overacting on his part, and in part that probably ties back to the overreaching of the story.

At the end of the day, the story really does pick up where the previous film left off, but that story was pretty much open and shut. Yes, they bad guys want their revenge, but that is something that could have waited until movie three and I think this film really should have capitalized on Daniel Radcliffe’s character, without connecting it to the previous film. The first film stood on it’s own, this film doesn’t, and it could have. It’s a year later, they are bringing down a bad guy and they have caught the eye of another villain. There was a lot of potential in this film, but making the tricks too big and having that influence the story was a downside to the film. The audience can only do so much and the film asked a little too much of them whereas the previous one just blew minds. (★★☆☆ | B-)

—Film Credits—

Directed by Jon M. Chu

Screenplay by Ed Solomon

Story by Ed Solomon & Peter Chiarello

Based on Characters by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanna Lathan, Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman

Rating | Length | Genre: PG-13 | 2 hr 9 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Distributed by Summit Entertainment

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