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"Now You See Me" was a personal guilty pleasure of 2013, it was
absolutely unpretentious and unbelievable but it knew it was so and
with the help of a talented cast and a couple of good characters and
story beats it turned out as a fine time at the theater. Its sequel
starts out with the same unpretentious and fun vibe of the first only
to slowly escalate up to what becomes one of the most lifeless and
visually painful experiences of the year.
As I said the movie started out really fine, in the sense that it was doing what I wanted it to do. Nobody should or would walk into this film expecting the new "Heat", I just wanted to have some dumb fun, with a self referential film that doesn't take anything seriously and up to the fist two set-pieces of the film that's what I was getting. The cast was working the best they could and the action felt fluent and visually pleasing, there was a rhythm to it and a reason for it in particular.
Yet, as soon as we start getting into this film's second act things fall apart to a mind numbing degree and I mean that literally, my mind went blank with the level of stupidity and inconsequentially of what was going on, I watched this film in a state of trance where I couldn't tell if I was dozing off or simply bored to death.
"Now You See Me 2" takes the levels of suspense of disbelief to a whole new world where not even laughing at the film proves to be of any kind of satisfaction, everything going on is just visual noise and other than being filmed in the most uninteresting and unstylish way possible, it has no momentum, no character, it's just there for the sake of extravaganza and it keeps going on for unbelievable amounts of time and it never proves to be any kind of pleasant.
And we haven't even taken into consideration the logistical implications of what happens. It is just crazy. There is no grit of grounding of actions, stuff just keeps happening on top of other stuff and without any kind of character or story implications the film becomes more of a showcase of dull visual tricks. Not to mention the story twists it spices in which are preposterous to even think about and sprinkled with silly clichés and dialogue that not even Ruffalo or Freeman, two of the greatest actors, manage to make even passable.
I got a head ache from this movie, it was a terrible experience, I don't recommend it and the shortness of my review is reflective of how lost with words I am about it.
Here's the thing about 2013's "Now You See Me," I didn't hate it but I
wasn't completely wowed by it either. Mildly entertaining is how I'd
describe it. It's heist caper like Ocean's Eleven but with faster
sleight of hand. So to say that "Now You See Me" didn't have its
amusing moments, would be a lie. But this sequel however, NOW YOU SEE
ME 2, is a big giant mess.
In NOW YOU SEE ME 2, the four horsemen Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, after a year of outwitting the FBI and winning the public's adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. But a certain revenge plot threatens their impossible heist yet.
The first film had more mystery, thriller and intrigue, so at the very least it kept you engaged, but NOW YOU SEE ME 2 resorts to cheap laughs and a build up that frankly kinda insults our intelligence. The film would like to make you believe that it's smart, it even thinks itself that way, but in its attempt to give you a seemingly intricate and elaborate trick and a big reveal, it gets lost in its own process.
Isla Fisher's Henley whom I thought was a strong female character, got replaced by Lizzy Caplan's Lula who's more concerned about getting laid. For some reason, they had to present Woody Harrelson's character's identical twin brother, also played by Woody Harrelson. I think that was a poor decision on the filmmakers' part. It's bad enough that they had to resort to this annoying unlikable family member, on top of that, they couldn't just get another actor and have it be a brother, instead of identical twin?! Woody Harrelson is a great actor, but watching two of him bantering, that's the point when I stop taking this movie seriously as a piece of entertainment. This franchise says that the closer you look, the less you see. Well, if you step back a bit, you'll see the big picture that NOW YOU SEE ME 2 is not as crafty as it's cracked up to be.
-- Rama's Screen --
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film tells the story of a group of magicians who are going to
reveal the secrets of a corporation. However, they get outsmarted and
blackmailed. They have to try get an upper hand in a seemingly
I enjoyed the first "Now You See Me" because I was wowed by the mystery and suspense it had. This installment, however, does not provide me with the same experience.
This time round, the film spends a lot of time introducing the new characters and to set the picture. Then, there is a constant stream of trickery, which are unrealistic and unlikely. The plot becomes so far fetched and random, events happening so conveniently that it loses believability, which is the key that made the first film great. There are some scenes in here that's good, but most of the time I am left to wonder when the film is going to end. Unfortunately, I can't see the wire factor in "Now You See Me 2".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is undeniably visually dazzling, arguably to the point of
being exhausting. But what I'm taking from this dubious new genre, if
you could call it that, is that filmmakers shamelessly exploit and yet
devalue the nature of real-life illusionism (i.e. "magic"), in which
the magician actually has to make something work that looks impossible
or highly unlikely (it's a trick), by making use of the nearly endless
possibilities of film, in which things that would be impossible in real
life can actually be accomplished on screen. So we get things like
Lizzy Caplan apparently vanishing into thin air in Atlas's apartment,
and since magicians, of course, don't divulge how they accomplish their
tricks, the film takes advantage of this by doing things that in all
likelihood really are impossible no explanations or credibility
Since we all know that you can do all these things in the movies anyway, what's the point of making them into magicians, when you can watch a Harry Potter movie and you don't really have to wonder how people in paintings can move?
While the first installation was enjoyable, the second one does not
live up. The plot was bland and dull and dragging. The dialogue was dry
and just downright stupid. The magic tricks were OK (and unnecessary),
but there was no wow factor. No jaw-dropping revealing or mind hack or
anything like that. If the first movie keeps you guessing until the
final scene, then Now You See Me 2 just basically tells the whole story
in a straight line. It's just plain bad
To pair with the bad plot, the acting was also horrid. Lizzy Caplan was beyond tragic. There is no charisma in her character at all. Replacing Isla Fisher was a really bad move. And when you thought: "Well, at least Michael Caine or Morgan Freeman will provide some top-notch acting?", you were wrong. Their characters are just so dull that even their talents can not save them.
the first movie was good, i love it in fact. All the tricks were kinda
impossible, but at least its all make sense after they showed us how
they did it and added with an interesting plot twist at the end. Now
you see me 2, however, went to the next level of bull tricks and
meaningless story line with "crunchy" jokes. It was boring and
confusing. I wasted 2 hours for nothing.
I used to think that the characters in the first movie were good and well tough out - they were good as a team and fun to be watched. Now, they are just annoying and try soooo hard to look cool with their crappy dialogue and outrageous tricks. Its a movie about magicians right? Not witches nor wizards. I mean, can they really throwing cards from one to another without anyone noticing? Can a card slide through your body that easily?
To summarise, the movie is bad in everything (story line, acting, dialogue) Don't even bother to watch it.
This movie was so poorly written, I felt the need to make as many people aware to avoid paying for it. I think I have written a handful of reviews but here is my short take on it...It was a story line that never developed, childish "illusions," and attempts at humor that made me roll my eyes. The characters were painful to watch act as the lines and script was so awkward, they could not even make it look good. My friend summarized the "entertainment" best by imitating the illusions saying, "It's not in this hand because look! It's in my other hand!" That corny. I watched two different couples walk out before they delivered some illogical obnoxious explanation on the "eye" and then my friend and I walked out asthey continued to explain. The first movie was very entertaining but this may be the worst sequel ever produced.
Unlike the first one, which had a few plot holes, but a fairly
convoluted and charming plot, this one is empty.
The characters are lacking in substance, the magic acts are now obviously computer generated and thus boring. I mean if you go for computer generated magic, go full harry potter. The plot is predictable at times, cliché (evil twin? what is this a soap opera?) and face palm worthy the rest of the time. And it actually detracts from the art of magic. Which is a shame.
Acting is not bad, Morgan Freeman can't go wrong really. Woody Harrelson always a fun actor to watch. Anyway , it is the script and impossible without CGI magic acts that ruins this for me.
Hope they make better decisions in the 3rd part. Which I sincerely hope they will do , if not for anything else , to make amends for this one
If you want a movie about magicians, and are not 12 years old, I'll
recommend The Illusionist or The Prestige. If you like superhero movies
- watch one of those. This is kind of a mix.
I guess what I'm trying to say is:
If you like movies that are fast paced, where they try to cram as much as possible into the movie in as little time as possible, kind of a movie directed by a hamster or something, then you'll probably like this movie.
If you suspension of disbelief comes easy to you, then you'll also like it. Because there is really nothing very believable in it. All the magic tricks smell of CGI and "movie", and there is never doubt whether it's gonna work or not.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start by saying that I didn't like the first "Now You See Me",
but I would rate it a 6/10 just for the fact it was SOMEWHAT enjoyable.
The sequel is a movie that probably nobody asked for, but yet they did
it anyway. 2 hours of poorly directed and written nonsense.
SOME vague spoilers ahead, though you won't care about them at all.
THE PLOT The plot tries to twist and turn a couple of times, but it is just a straight line. To try and spice it up they tried the twist with Morgan Freeman's character, but nobody believed it, not even Mr. Freeman.
THE MAGIC A movie about magic should not be a movie about CGI, which the first movie was and now the second. The Illusionist and The Prestige were doing their magic tricks for the audience IN the movie, for the crowd in that universe. This one does the tricks just for the people watching the movie. Need to make someone disappear? Of course there will be a cut. Need to make someone escape? They simply transform into water. How? Who cares, a magician never reveals his tricks (hint: CGI).
THE LOGISTICS A bunch of random magicians can take over the whole of London on New Year's Eve in half a day without preparation. They can also somehow broadcast their tricks LIVE all over the world, on all TVs in all city centers, etc.
THE PANDERING TO THE Chinese MARKET Yes I know that "entertaining" movies nowadays always have something for the Chinese market: a character, a vase, a flashback scene, etc. But this one went all in: mystical characters that know and see everything, they help the protagonists without a second thought, etc. Oh and did I mention they are literally going to China for some reason, just to show what a great place it is?
THE HEIST SCENE (FLYING CARD) God please make it stop. A 10-minutes scene with a quintillion number of ways it can go wrong - everything works out. How to prevent a heist like that? A single security camera in the room and an underpaid guard watching it. Done.
THE FEMALE CHARACTER Jesus Christ, don't get me started on Lizzy Caplan's character. With a couple of attempts at witty lines about misogyny and discrimination, her character was a caricature of a female character.
JESSE EISENBERG No.
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