Now You See Me 2 is a film that really shouldn’t have been green lit to begin with. The question to why there was a need for a sequel to begin with is the biggest concern and that is never a good lead up into a film. I really liked the first film. I thought in many ways it was a smart and unexpected film that I really enjoyed and was completely invested in. I can safely say, this was nothing like the original.
While the ads and trailers played before the film start, I was worried. My hope for it was down and I was just hoping they could pull out something half decent. With this, I was completely on board with the first act. I wasn’t completely sure what direction the film was going to go into it, I really liked how they played on Eisenberg’s friction with the other Horsemen and his want for more power. When they opened up with this, it got me completely on board with what they were doing. They continued to play out this friction for the most part of the first act and they capped it off with a great heist that was the sort of things that I really liked about the first one. With a first act like this, I really had hope with this film. It had me on board and invested in the characters. But then it fell apart.
The second act blew it for me. Completely blew it for me. What this second act did was completely change the tone that was set up in the first act. This film flipped from being about Eisenberg wanting to lead the Horsemen instead of Ruffalo’s character, to Eisenberg suddenly having power and no one saying anything about it. It seemed that when they were taken to China, everything changed. Suddenly the Horsemen became what seemed like a pawn in a big chess game. From this point on, this film pretty much fell apart. The logic behind some of their tricks or just basic story plots was just so hard to believe and get on board with. The second act really killed this film for me and the third failed to pick up the pieces.
As much as I dished out on the film, there were some fantastic parts. There is a sequence in the second act when the Horsemen have to steal something about the size of a playing card, and with that came one of the most well directed small range heists. By far that was my favourite part of the whole film because it was scenes like that that made the first film such a surprise and well liked film.
I don’t want to go into specific negatives but there are just some moments that makes you wonder how someone could write this and think that the audience would just jump on board with it. I felt like for the most part, if you’ve seen a few Mythbusters episodes or basic common sense of on cool science tricks, your not going to believe most of the stuff that happens. Even when they explains how they did some of their tricks, it’s still not enough. The scene they showed in the trailer with Eisenberg in the rain (SPOILERS), they explain how they do it with the strobe lights and the rain machine, but it still doesn’t make sense. When the ‘rain’ is going up, all the audience stop using their umbrellas, but for those who know that these visual effects of water falling up rather than down can be actually done in real life, they will know that even though it appears to be traveling up, the water is going to continue to fall.
This is a film that shouldn’t have been made. That’s the truth. There was no point of it and it really was nothing but a cash grab. There is however one positive coming out of it. For those who already know, there is going to be a third film. What this film did do well, especially in the final scene, is set up the story that Ruffalo’s character needs to pick one Horsemen to be his successor. For me, I can see the third installment being a a Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire style film where we are going to have the 4 Horsemen pitting against each other in a magic heist off. Apart from that though, this film fell short. Really short. For a film that had no reason to be made to begin with, the first act was so convincing and showed so much promise, it just blew its second and third act and secured itself in the category of sequels that shouldn’t have been made.