“Now You See Me 2” is another sequel we seem to be subjected to in this long line of sequels, but this one is an exception. Sure, the movie doesn’t make as much impact as a real magician, but we have a lot of fun along the way.
Jesse Eisenberg is back as Daniel Atlas, the leader of the magic troupe known as The Four Horsemen, still performing acts of illusion that are heavy on gimmickry and light on coherence. However, that’s one of the strong points of this movie: It makes incoherence really entertaining.
He re-teams with Woody Harrelson and Mark Ruffalo on another mission that takes them halfway around the world and finally into the hands of Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe). Who better than Harry Potter himself to hire these guys to perform an elaborate heist?
Morgan Freeman returns as their vengeful rival now in prison after the Horsemen’s last act landed him there. And Michael Caine makes a welcome return, though he may or may not have ties to this highly intricate plot.
The movie does have a typical number of scenes where the Horseman attempt to foil their competition by performing a series of complicated actions that are fast-paced, but one scene is truly fun: It is where the team tries to get into a heavily secured vault and they use a playing card and try to disguise it as a chip of some kind while passing it off to one another without getting caught. This card pretty much serves as the MacGuffin of the film.
As for the rest of the movie, the magic acts do tend to be a double-edge sword: On the one hand, they’re exciting to watch, but on the other, it’s also maddening because it’s heavy-handed and goes into expository dialogue.
Nevertheless, I give the movie points for energy, imagination and sheer audacity. For “Now You See Me 3,” I hope the filmmakers can pull off a script that is just as ingenious as a real illusionist. In the meantime, check your brain at the door.
Rated PG-13 for violence and some language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.