Now You See Me 2 (2016) hollywood movie reviews

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Most of the gang is back – but the sense of fun that catapulted the original to success is drowned out by desperation in this bigger, louder follow-up crime caper. Being a Hollywood sequel, Now You See Me 2 of course comes supersized.

It’s significantly longer than its predecessor, running over two hours. The first film took a short detour to Paris, but otherwise stayed in the States; Now You See Me 2 jumps from America, to China (in an obvious effort to court the Asian market), and finally to England. The plot boasts higher stakes. Its melee of characters has grown to include a hammy new villain, played by Daniel Radcliffe. And Woody Harrelson is back, playing not one, but two characters … they’re twins.

Now You See Me, a jazzy heist caper that became a surprise hit in the summer of 2013, had an energising bounce to it, courtesy of French film-maker Louis Leterrier, even though it didn’t make a lick of sense. By contrast, Now You See Me 2 plays like its try-hard cousin: it wants so badly to win you over that the desperation is off-putting. The film, like the smug magicians that populate it, showboats by throwing more of everything at the screen. Critically lacking is the sense of fun that characterised its predecessor.

Most of the cast is back, save for Isla Fisher, whose comedic talents were underused in the original, playing the lone female illusionist of the bunch. Tasked with filling her shoes is Lizzy Caplan, who is afforded more barbs than her Bachelorette co-star, lending the pic a bit of spark.

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