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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Film | Now You See Me 2

Now You See Me 2 is the second installment in the story of "The Four Horsemen", a group of "elite" magicians.

Initially I was not sure what to expect from this sequel. A pattern I have noticed lately, is that most sequels are worse than the initial film (and I'm sure there are plenty out there who would say that is the case with 99% of sequels ever). This one wasn't all that bad. It had it's rough patches, but overall it was an engaging film.

I'm not sure who's choice this was (actor, writer, director, I don't know), but I can't say I liked the addition of Lula (Lizzy Caplan) and the subtraction of Henley (Isla Fisher). I think the storyline written could have worked just as well with Henley. And the way that Henley's exit was written, it sounds like it may have been Isla Fisher's choice to not partake in this sequel. Not to mention her exit could have been done better. It's mentioned briefly near the beginning of the film and it pokes at Daniel Atlas' (Jesse Eisenberg) control issues. It appears that it was written with full intentions of introducing Caplan's character, which seemed a little thrown in there, in my opinion. The character of Lula was not that bad of an idea; but I think her introduction could have been so much better, which would have helped create a stronger character.

I really liked how the closing shots of the film come from the opening shots. I think it tied the story up well. Getting to dive into Dylan Rhodes' (Mark Ruffalo) backstory more was well done and it helped the audience understand more about the first film - which is not a common thing seen in sequels, at least I haven't seen many that do this. This backstory diving also helped shed light on this character's motives, which helps with the growth of the character as the film progresses.

Honestly, there was quite a bit of backstory diving in this film. Some worked well and some not so much. The pieces of Merritt McKinney's (Woody Harelson) past weren't super insightful to the character, but it helped with the story some. We get to see more about Thaddeus Bradley's (Morgan Freeman) connection to the magic community, which is more important than I would have thought just looking at the trailer. There is a little bit of digging into Arthur Tressler's (Michael Caine) backstory, but I think the storyline could have survived without it. It certainly did nothing for the character. Jack Wilder's (Dave Franco) backstory was hit in a similar way to Daniel Atlas's backstory. It briefly touched his relationship life. Other than that and a quick line about how he's always been in the background, we don't get to know much more about him.

Let's talk a little about Daniel Radcliff's character, Walter Mabry. Honestly, from the moment we meet him, he seems like your classic villain. He had to explain why he wanted things done the way he wanted them done; if someone tried to explain how he did something he would get mad, stop them, and then explain it all himself as if they hadn't said a single word. Other than that, the character is pretty flat. There isn't anything that points out any kind of depth. Which is fine if you're wanting your audience to focus on it's heroes - or non-heroes, depending on your perspective - but if you want your audience to have a chance at making their own decision about heroes and villains, then there should be depth to all characters.

The action sequences are awesome, because there is more magic involved which begs you to pay more attention. I enjoyed how their tricks all tie together and point towards their larger goal. It adds to the question of "what is their motive".

I think if you enjoyed the first film, then it is worth your time to see the second.

Until next time... Kara

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