Unfortunately, this isn’t another solo adventure, but I decided to make my most recent trip to the movies a sibling day. Me, my two sisters, and brother headed over to the Carmike to see Now You See Me 2. This will be my last film before I move to California, so I wanted to make it a special occasion. I’m a huge fan of Dave Franco and the first film, and my sister is a huge fan of Jay Chou. My brother and other sister enjoyed the first film too, so we decided to all go together.
In all honesty, I have been waiting for this film for over a year and a half. Ever since I heard the announcement of a sequel, I was eagerly anticipating the second act. With so little original blockbusters, NYSM was a welcome change. NYSM2 was a worthy, fun film, and I am already looking forward to the third installment (which has already been announced), and so are my sisters. They even wanted to see it again!
Now You See Me 2: The Second Act
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Daniel Radcliffe
Director: John M. Chu
I will admit that NYSM2 will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s one of those films you have to actually pay attention to, or you will be lost. It keeps you guessing, and you’re never really sure where the plot will go. I love not being able to predict the plot of a film. I love the element of surprise. Without spoiling the movie, it has a couple twists you would never expect. The film picks up 18 months after the events of the first film, and the Horsemen are in hiding, waiting for the next move. Minus Isla Fisher, the rest of the original cast returns, with the additions of Lizzy Caplan (Lula), Sanaa Lathan (Natalie Austin), Daniel Radcliffe (Walter), and Jay Chou (Li). The Horsemen embark on an international adventure, trying to pull off their greatest trick yet. There’s ass-kicking, plot twists, and even bigger illusions and heists. I really don’t want to be a killjoy and blow the plot for you, so you’ll have to check it out for yourself! This whole film is fodder for the conspiracy website The Vigilant Citizen, if you get my drift. It makes you think about what’s going on around you, and question the world you live in.
Set on a much larger scale than the first NYSM, NYSM2 is set in New York City, Macau, China, and London. Macau- being the Chinese Las Vegas, provides some amazing eye candy. I seriously want to go there now due to the amazing wide shots and “magical” atmosphere. The grand illusions also call for some amazing set pieces and effects. Atlas’s (Jesse Eisenberg) rain scene is as stunning as it is exciting. All three international settings are turned in beautiful visual playgrounds for the magicians.
Ear Porn: C
There’s some international tunes from Chinese artists, including that of multi-talented cast member Jay Chou, but nothing else real memorable, maybe except hearing Magic Stick by Lil’ Kim. The score is pretty standard fare as well.
Due to the international backdrop, there were a lot more diverse characters peppered in the film than that of the first. We have the return of Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), and the introduction of Li (Jay Chou) and Bu Bu (Tsai Chin), and Natalie Austin (Sanaa Lathan). Most of the most diverse scenes are situated in Macau, China- which I must say looks freakin’ awesome. It’s pretty good that the sequel places POC’s in significant supporting roles. Li and Bu Bu assist the Horsemen, and Natalie Austin in an FBI agent bent on catching the magicians.
Girl Power: A
The addition of Lula to the Horsemen is a welcome one. She specializes in “Geek” magic (blood and gore), and has an extremely spunky personality. She provides a lot of comic relief throughout the film, and is a great asset to the Horsemen. I truly enjoyed her more than Isla Fisher’s character in the first film. Lula was better incorporated, and seemed to be just “one of the guys”. I also loved the little romance with her and Jack (Dave Franco). She does all the pursuing, but it works.
Box Office: C+
NYSM2 is fairing well at the box office, but not stellar. In the US, it is reporting over $23 million in its first weekend, but it’s still behind The Conjuring 2, and Warcraft. The sequel is reporting slightly less than the original.