Implausibility – Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Far fetched.  So the infamous Horseman are back with an updated female lead (Lizzy Caplan).  They get roped in by a new player (Daniel Radcliffe) to pull another impossible heist, and if they can’t successfully execute, it means their lives.  This is yet another example of Hollywood trying to capitalize on marginal success.  The first Now You See Me overachieved like nobody’s business, and I promise you that the studio never expected it to make as much money as it did.  Now they’re back with a bigger budget… and no new ideas, because this is just a remake of the first movie.

2The rules of the real world need not apply.

So in lieu of getting Isla Fisher back, they got Lizzy Caplan.  She’s my girl, and I’ve liked her in Party Down and my personal favorite monster movie Cloverfield.  I adore her as an actress, but she is not what this movie needed.  She’s the only one trying to bring the comedic relief, and it doesn’t fit with all these serious men who say the word “magic” with a straight face.  In case you weren’t fully aware that this jumped the shark, Woody Harrelson now has a conniving twin, a plot twist that you see all the time in TV sit-coms when the writers have run out of ideas.  Jesse Eisenberg is just doing what Jesse Eisenberg always does, and Mark Ruffalo is the only person that they actually tried to add any depth to.  Radcliffe brings a little life to the movie at first, but he is only given so much to do, and the only person I really liked was Dave Franco, and that was because of how cool he chose to play it, but he doesn’t have nearly enough to work with in order to save it.

1Can’t wait to see him in the Disaster Artist.

After the ridiculous ending of the first movie, I was prepared to shut down my brain as best I could so as to give myself the best chance of enjoying myself.  I have to say that this is a very tall order to fill because it is that thinly written, and it is almost like the writers have a vendetta against the laws of physics.  When you break down the story, it doesn’t make any sense, and you can’t just write off all of the things they pull as magic.  I want impressive set pieces out of this movie, and I got two decent ones involving a plane and a magic card juggling act.  It’s watchable, but not something to write home about, but it made enough money worldwide that we will probably see a third movie a few years down the line, even though interest is waning domestically.

Now You See Me 2 (2016) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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