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Title :Now You See Me (2013)
Release : 10 October 2013
Rating :7.3/10
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writers:Ed Solomon
Country: USA | France
Language:English | French
Genre :Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Stars :Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo

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Now You See Me (2013) trailer

Now You See Me (2013) review

A good magician will leave you reeling, wondering how he pulled off that trick. A bad one will leave you checking your wallet, making sure he didn’t steal any of your bills.

“Now You See Me 2” straddles the line between the two and tips toward the latter.

Like its predecessor, which was a surprise hit in 2013, “Now You See Me 2” is a slick, empty and consequence-free diversion. It’s a little smug and self-satisfied, and it attempts to fool you into thinking it’s a highly calculated, skillfully plotted caper that is always three steps ahead of the audience. But that’s just another of its tricks.

Danny Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) are back as the leaders of the Four Horsemen, a team of rock star magicians who in the first film acted as Robin Hood types by stealing from the rich and giving back to the little people. This made them celebrity figures and wanted criminals, which was apparently too much for Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) to handle. She’s now gone, explained away in a few lines of expository dialogue, replaced by Lula (Lizzy Caplan) in a move that barely registers as a blip on the Horsemen’s radar.

Also hanging around in the better-than-it-needs-to-be cast are Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), the Horsemen’s understudy and resident card expert; Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), the FBI agent who’s tracking the Horsemen, but is secretly the brains of the operation; Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), the incarcerated magic expert who has vowed to take down the Horsemen; and Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), the insurance magnate who was ripped off by the Horsemen in the first film.

New on board is Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe), the son of Tressler, who aims to get the Horsemen to steal a data card that, in essence, unlocks the personal information of every cell phone user on the planet. Ta-da!

What unfolds is basically “Mission: Impossible” for dummies. Not that the “Mission: Impossible” movies are highly intellectual fare, but they’re built on intricate set pieces that unfold as daring, tension-filled highwire acts. “Now You See Me 2” cheats its way through those sequences, cheapening the entire experience.

At the center of the film there’s a scene in which each of the Horsemen is passing a playing card to the others while various security agents pat them down in a high-level vault. In the right hands, this could be a thrilling and daring chain of events. But director Jon M. Chu (“Step Up” 2 and 3) employs so much digital fakery and so many physical impossibilities that the scene loses all its sense of danger and risk. As soon as you don’t believe it’s happening, the trick loses all of its meaning.

At least the cast is having fun. Harrelson doubles himself, also playing a goof-off twin brother who seems at least partially inspired by Matthew McConaughey, his co-star on “True Detective.” Caplan, given almost nothing to work with besides her own sense of fearlessness, gives life to her character with her offbeat sense of comic timing. But it’s Radcliffe who seems to be having the most fun, relishing his villain role and showing the most presence he has outside of “Harry Potter.” In an action comedy, he could really pop.

But as the illusions mount, they don’t amount to much, leading up to a big finale that piles on the improbabilities and quietly sweeps them under the rug.

“The best tricks work on many levels,” Freeman’s character explains at one point, as he attempts to give weight to the Horsemen’s — and the movie’s — actions. Instead, he reminds viewers this is a one-dimensional enterprise. Check your wallet, you may be getting ripped off.



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