Movie Reviews

Visionary Magic: Thoughts on Now You See Me 2

Now_You_See_Me_2_poster
(Via Wikipedia)

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Directed By Jon M. Chu

This is another movie I got to watch on HBO. I watched the first one back in college and I thought it was great. Now You See Me 2 was entertaining but it didn’t have that intensity and flair as the first one.

After their first heist that made them famous, the Four Horsemen remained in hiding as the FBI are on a manhunt for them. The group grows anxious as they wait for their next mission from the Eye. Soon after, the Four Horsemen received their long awaiting mission: exposing the corruption of a businessman. Their mission was a failure as the Horsemen were captured and sent to Macau by Walter Mabry who assigns the Four Horsemen to steal a data mining chip in exchange for asylum.

I like the Now You See Me movies because of the action and suspense scenes. The writers did a great job in creating these “magic” tricks and with the modern technology we have for making movies, the creative ideas are limitless.

The structure of the plot is similar to the first one. After doing their grand trick, they would show scenes explaining to the audience how the trick was done. So when I was watching the sequel, I was actually trying to attentively catch the subtle clues that the Horsemen will use to explain the trick later on. Truthfully, I only caught one clue but the magic trick was still cool when they explained it. I was more of a detective rather than a viewer and I think that kind of ruined my viewing experience because I wasn’t in awe like when I was in the first movie when seeing the magic tricks, and the level of entertainment value wasn’t there for me.

I really enjoyed the tricks that they did in this sequel, but I feel like the first movie was better mostly because I had expectations after watching the first movie and also, I thought the fact that they “brought someone back to life” was pretty awesome (Spoiler!). So, when they explained the grand finale in this movie, it wasn’t as amazing as the first one.

I still enjoyed the two films, though, due to its take on perception. Magicians create illusions to fool their audience’s eyes but also, the production crew of the film does the same. They have to create a compelling storyline through special effects, camera angles, music/sound effects, and etc in order to entertain and to manipulate the audience’s senses, especially vision. The concept of perception is further elaborated when the Horsemen use their magic tricks to expose the corruption of rich businessmen, and through the Horsemen’s enlightenment, the movie viewers are also given a direct lesson of being aware of our surroundings and to not always believe in what we see in the media. What we see in the media may not always be the truth—we must go beyond the surface to seek understanding and knowledge. I think using the concept of magic is a great way to convey this message to readers.

As I said in the beginning, Now You See Me 2 isn’t as spectacular as the first one, but it is filled with action and magic.

3.8/5

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