Like all forms of art, film is a subjective medium, but sometimes a concrete fact emerges. Case in point, Now You See Me was one of 2013’s dumbest movies. One of the main joys of heist films is seeing characters overcome a seemingly impossible challenge, both in the initial execution and the later recap that breaks down how exactly they did it. Now You See Me wants to follow in those twisty footsteps, but while it sets up the impossible thefts and sequences it cheats viewers in everything that follows. Instead of rewarding audiences with a clever explanation and a smart reveal every action is accomplished via CG. The challenges are impossible, and the film just doesn’t care.
All of that said, the film also earned $350 million worldwide so a sequel was always going to be in the cards.
The mysteriously titled Now You See Me 2 sees the return of the Four Horsemen – Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, and Lizzy “I’m not Isla Fisher” Caplan – along with Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman who are presumably reprising their roles from the first film as detective, manager, and soothing voice, respectively. The sequel sees a newcomer to the world of magic in the form of Daniel Radcliffe.
Check out the first teaser below.
Louis Leterrier has been replaced in the director’s chair this go-around by John M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), but the end result appears to be more of the same. It looks to be a CG-heavy romp suggesting that it’s once again on track to be a silly flick with story and characters lacking in weight or consequence. To be clear, the issue isn’t simply the abundance of CG effects as that’s standard for big summer releases. The problem is that the film is destined to once again lack anything resembling suspense – the Horsemen are devoid of any compelling skills but are never in danger because nothing is ever out of bounds.
The one thing in the sequel’s favor is the same thing that made the first film bearable – it has one hell of a cast. Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, and Ruffalo all appeared to have a fun time before so we should expect more energetic and loose performances from the quartet here, and Radcliffe is clearly game as well. Isla Fisher has been replaced by Caplan, and while it’s unfortunate that both of the first film’s lead females (Fisher and Mélanie Laurent) were deemed unnecessary for the follow-up we will never be disappointed by the presence of Caplan. Never.
Now You See Me 2 magically appears in theaters June 10th, 2016.