Now You See Me 2

I only saw the first Now You See Me (1)  grudgingly, which is to say, on a plane. It’s amazing what you can get me to watch when I’m hurtling through space in a glorified tin now-you-see-me-two-movie-poster-10can. Anything to distract myself, even Jesse Eisenberg doing “magic.”

To be honest, I hate magic. I hate the spectacle and the artifice and the hammy, tan people who “perform” it. I hate it. I HATE hate it, the way I hate Nazis and speeding tickets and being tricked into eating vegetables. I have to remind myself, with a shock, that some people actually pay to see magic, while I would gladly pay to not see it. I’d rather not even walk by a street magician, if I can help it. But I’m half-willing to give it a go in the movies because while I also hate Nazis, I concede that some fairly wonderful movies have been made containing them. So I don’t rule Now You See Me out just because it has magic. Or just because it has Jesse Eisenberg, who is quickly ascending my list of things to avoid.

Jesse Eisenberg is joined by 3 other magicians (including a token girl!) to form the “4 horsemen” – the Robinhoods of the magic scene, they spent the first movie stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. You can’t do that without consequences, so they’ve been in hiding this past year and are only revealing themselves in the sequel when their magical governing body, the Eye, calls on them to do so – for a very good cause, I’m sure.

Safe to say a sequel to this blip of filmdom is one trick I never saw coming, unlike all the tricks in the film, which I saw from a mile away. There is no “magic” is Now You See Me 2, which is a real tragedy in this renaissance of practical effects, unless you count thenysm2-jack-lula-posters “magic” of CGI. Or the magic of marketing, I suppose. Definitely not the magic of film making, because this guy was seemingly made in a vacuum of personality. There is no fun in watching card tricks when you know the cards were added digitally, after the fact. And the tricks are not replicable in the real world, so Now You See Me 2 is just another CGI-bloated entry into the super hero genre, only these heroes are super lame and the costumes even lamer (though Eisenberg’s sporting a more Lex Luther-appropriate hairstyle than he did in Batman v. Superman).

But the greatest crime this film commits is its end. We, the audience, have spent 2 hours watching the 4 horsmen play tricks on their audiences, their enemies, their government, and each other. Now they seek to play one on us, and a two minute monologue discredits everything that’s come before and tells us we’ve been played for fools and what we thought was happening really wasn’t. Gotcha! Except the script does absolutely nothing to earn this. To set this up, a script has to leave breadcrumbs, it has to set it up, carefully, craftilly, but dutifully. Or else it’s total baloney. And this, my friends, was grade F deli meat, straight from Oscar Mayer himself. It’s like me suddenly telling you that I’ve been writing a Finding Dory review this whole time…TADA!

What do you mean you’re not convinced? I said ta-da, dammit. What more do you want? A viable story? Some forethought? Common sense? I mean – what do you expect here? This isn’t magic. It’s just a little trickery, and you can either buy in or opt out. It’s up to you.

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29 thoughts on “Now You See Me 2

  1. Wendell

    The first one was entertaining. That’s all I’m hoping for out of this one when I see it. Guess that means I’ll opt in, at some point (not going to the theater to see this).

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  2. J.

    I was weary of the first one (so weary that I still haven’t seen it), so I’m likely gonna catch up on them both at some point after I’ve caught Pacific Rim 2, I’d imagine.

    As for magic, I don’t like magicians / illusionists. It’s all a bit fake tan, white smiles and coattails. That said, I find early magicians / illusionists like Carter, Keller and Houdini absolutely fascinating. A completely different game back then, I guess.

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  3. kmSalvatore

    Hahaha Jay your too funny. And here I thought I was the only person who truly hates magic;)! I’ll cross over to the other side of where ever I am, to avoid the shit !! And I’ll do the same for this movie, lol, I wasn’t even going to read this since I’m on my phone , but as soon as I got to the what 3rd sentence and saw how you also hated the stuff., well I knew you’d have me in stitches () thanks

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  4. Tom

    Ah goddamn it, they came up with another hamfisted ending again?! That’s what killed the first one for me. The twist was so ludicrous I laughed out loud, hard, for several minutes, in a probably half-packed theater. The movie lost all credibility when Mark Ruffalo turned out to be a baddie. I wonder what happens now. . .

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  5. Birgit

    You didn’t have me when you said Jesse Eisenberg:) there is something about this brat I can’t stand. I’m ok with magicians but he irritates me.

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  6. Brittani

    The first movie was surprisingly decent, but I won’t see this one in theaters. I’l wait for DVD like I did the first.

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  7. ruth

    Glad I avoided this one then. The first movie irritated me to no end, so I had a feeling the sequel would be worse. I’m not fond of Jesse Eisenberg either Jay, so that certainly doesn’t help.

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  8. Liz A.

    I just read Entertainment Weekly’s review of this movie. They said 2 was better than 1, but they didn’t exactly rave about it.

    I used to be fascinated by magic, but when I learned that I’d have to become a magician to learn how they did the tricks, I had to walk away. Because, I always want to know how it’s all done (and not knowing just makes me crazy).

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  9. Lloyd Marken

    I liked the first one but didn’t see much point in a sequel. Plus why did they get rid of Isla Fisher and keep all the boys. I’ll tell you why! Bullshit. That’s why and I like Lizzy Caplan but c’mon couldn’t switch out Dave Franco for The Rock?

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